Xenophobia: Zimbabweans to march to SA embassy

2015-04-17 10:48
People stand outside shops that have been closed after rumours started circulating about violent mobs. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

People stand outside shops that have been closed after rumours started circulating about violent mobs. (Mpho Raborife, News24)

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Cape Town – Zimbabweans have taken to social media to mobilise for a "Black Friday" campaign following the deadly xenophobic attacks targeting foreign nationals in South Africa.

According to the SABC, Zimbabweans intended to march on the South African embassy in Harare and were calling for a boycott of South African businesses and products on Friday.

Zimbabwe's foreign minister Simbarashe Mumbengegwi was quoted in media reports this week as saying at least one Zimbabwean had died and a total of 800 had been displaced by the xenophobic attacks.

A Zanu-PF youth league representative, Mpiehlabayo Malinga said the march was aimed at sending a message to South Africa.

"It is important for us to march so that we get our voices heard.... People are losing their lives on a daily basis and we feel that it is our duty as youth leaders of this country to make sure that the [SA] government understands the plight of our fellow Zimbabweans," Malinga said.

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The report said they had also been calls for a boycott of South African artists performing at the upcoming Harare International Festival of the Arts (Haifa).

This comes as South African artist Casper Nyovest insisted that he would perform in Zimbabwe next week despite xenophobic retaliation threats.

Meanwhile, The Herald reported on Friday that the African Union had condemned the xenophobia attacks and described them as "unacceptable".

AU Commission chairperson Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma said in a statement it was unfortunate that the attacks took place at a time when Africa Day celebrations were approaching.

Africa celebrates the founding of the Organisation of African Unity (OAU), now the African Union, on May 25.

"Whatever the challenge we may be facing, no circumstances justify attacks on people, whether foreigners or locals... It is unacceptable," Dlamini-Zuma was quoted as saying.

Police on Friday described the mood in KwaZulu-Natal as "calm but tense", adding that they will not scale down their deployment of hundreds of officers, despite a decrease in the number of xenophobic attacks.

Read more on:    au  |  zanu-pf  |  nkosazana dlamini-zuma  |  zimbabwe  |  durban  |  looting  |  crime  |  southern africa  |  xenophobia

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