Tue | Apr 7, 2020

South Africa: Foreigners displaced after attacks

Published:Thursday | April 16, 2015 | 12:00 AM
Migrants rest upon disembarking at Palermo’s harbour after being rescued at sea yesterday. The precise number of migrants who have perished in the Mediterranean Sea as they flee poverty, war, and other conflicts in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia is unknown.


More than 2,000 foreigners have sought shelter in refugee camps in the coastal city of Durban after deadly attacks on immigrants, a South African aid group said yesterday.

The refugee camps, set up on sports fields around Durban, will not be large enough if attacks on immigrants continue, said Imtiaz Sooliman, of the Gift of the Givers organisation. Those who can afford it are planning to leave the country, he said.

"They've lost their houses, they've lost their businesses, they've lost everything," said Sooliman.

Five people have been killed and 74 people arrested since attacks against immigrants began at the end of March, said police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker in a statement.

South African newspapers carried photos of foreigners armed with knives and machetes to protect themselves. The Star newspaper said Nigerian shop owners barricaded themselves behind burning tyres as South Africans looted storefronts.

In Johannesburg, where looters ransacked foreign-owned shops earlier this year, immigrants shut their shops to avoid possible violence.

In Malawi, officials have set up transit camps expected to house Malawians returning to the country, said Information Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa.