Xenophobic attacks in Free State

2012-07-11 14:29

Over 500 foreign nationals have been displaced in xenophobic attacks in Botshabelo in Free State, the SA Red Cross Society (Sarcs) said.

“It all started when unregistered street vendors were removed in Botshabelo town at a place called Fairways on July 3,” the society said in a statement today.

The same night, angry residents broke into businesses of Somalis, Chinese and Ethopians. They took goods and money from the shops, and some houses belonging to foreign nationals were burnt down.

The Red Cross said it was currently supporting 584 displaced foreigners at the community hall, providing food, blankets and other aid.

“Sarcs is pleading with the public, businesses and corporates to assist with clothes, school uniforms, toiletries and food to help the victims.”

Police confirmed the attacks, but said the situation in Botshabelo was calm today.

Claudia Mangwegape of the Red Cross in the Free State said a meeting was held today between locals, foreign nationals and community organisations in a bid to end the conflict.

The outcome was expected soon.

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