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Attacks on Foreigners Keeps Pretoria West Tense

Umm Muhammed Umar (23/02/17)

 
The community of Atteridgeville in Pretoria is on edge after two xenophobic attacks had taken place there, in less than a week.

Last weekend, homes belonging to Nigerian nationals were set alight in Pretoria West, less than 3km from Atteridgeville.

Three days later, shops belonging to foreigners were looted, allegedly by community members. The shops had belonged to Somalis and Pakistanis. A witness says customers had looted the businesses. There have since been three arrests.

Last weekend it was Nigerians who were targeted. Residents claimed the Nigerians were using their homes for drug trafficking and prostitution.

They set two houses belonging to Nigerians alight. Nigerian Union of SA spokesman Ike Anyene said, “Nigerians can’t be defined by activities of few individuals that are engaged in crime…….we are afraid that the xenophobic attacks will flare up again like in 2008 and 2015 …”.

The Mamelodi Concerned Residents has now organised a march to the Home Affairs headquarters in Pretoria on Friday. The march is intended to highlight the community’s grievances against foreigners in South Africa.

Atteridgeville police are on standby and have cautioned community members not to take the law into their own hands.

 

Faizel Patel, Radio Islam News – 23-02-2017

Mike Hutchings / Reuters

The Pakistan High Commission says it has taken all possible measures to safeguard Pakistani nationals in South Africa ahead of an anti-immigration march in Pretoria.

A group calling themselves The ‘Mamelodi Concerned Residents’ intends marching to the Home Affairs Department tomorrow to protest against government allowing immigrants into the country.

Several spaza shops and properties belonging to foreign nationals have been attacked or looted in recent weeks after the owners were accused of running brothels or drug dens.

Pakistani High Commissioner Najm us Saqib says a team has been assembled to protect Pakistani’s during the march.

“Mr. Nasir Khan, President of Pakistan South Africa Association and his team have already taken appropriate measures in providing security and updated information to all concerned Pakistani’s.”

Saqib says they are cooperating with local authorities and officials to ensure there are no incidents of violence against Pakistani nationals during the anti-immigration march.

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