What do foreigners think of South Africa

South Africa criticized for xenophobic violence

In response to the violent attacks, Zambia canceled a friendly match between the national soccer team and South Africa, as reported by the British broadcaster BBC. The rejection of Rwandan President Paul Kagame, who was expected to visit South Africa, is also seen as a reaction to the violence.

The Chairman of the Commission of the African Union (AU), Moussa Faki Mahamat, strongly condemned the violence against the citizens of other countries on the continent. He urged the South African authorities to protect people's lives and property. According to media reports, Nigeria has called in the South African ambassador. The Nigerian music star "Burna Boy" announced that he would never set foot on South African soil again.

Nigeria's government announced on Twitter that it would send a special observer to South Africa. President Muhammadu Buhari wants to travel to South Africa himself in October and try to protect his compatriots.

At the same time, the Nigerian government condemned retaliatory attacks in its own country. Angry citizens had set fire to a Fililae of the South African mobile operator MTN in Ibadan in the southwest. According to the online newspaper "Premium Times", the South African supermarket chain Shoprite is also said to have been attacked there.

Rising poverty as a catalyst

South African President Cyril Ramaphosa condemned the violence in his country as "absolutely unacceptable" in a video message published on Twitter. There is no justification whatsoever for South Africans to attack people from other countries.

At a meeting with entrepreneurs and business representatives, he assured that the violence would be contained - also so that it would not overshadow a planned business forum.

For several weeks, gangs have been attacking migrants and foreigners in South Africa, looting shops run by them and setting them on fire. At least five people were killed and several hundred people were arrested in the rioting. The head of government of Gauteng Province, David Makhura, threatened the use of soldiers if the attacks did not stop. The violence is mainly directed against the shops of African migrants. However, three of the five fatalities are South Africans, according to the South African radio.

Widespread poverty is also believed to be the reason for the violence in South Africa. The unemployment rate has risen to 29 percent and is even higher among young people.

High unemployment is cited as one of the reasons for the riots

Nevertheless, South Africa has been the continent's most popular migration destination for decades. According to the UN Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD), more than four million migrants lived on the Cape in 2017. In recent years there has been multiple violence against African migrants in South Africa. In 2008, more than 60 people were killed in rioting.

Violence against women too

Immediately before the start of the Africa Conference of the World Economic Forum (WEF) in Cape Town, hundreds of South African women in Cape Town drew attention to another problem of violence in the country. They demonstrated against the rampant violence against women. Under a heavy police presence, they loudly demanded tougher punishments for perpetrators and held up banners with the words "Enough is enough" in the air.

The granddaughter of South Africa's freedom heroes and first black president Nelson Mandela, Ndileka, also took part in the protest. At the weekend, a 19-year-old student from Cape Town University was raped and killed. Previously, further cases of feminicide had caused outrage.

lh / qu (epd, dpa, kna)