African diplomats to meet Nkoana-Mashabane over xenophobia

By Drum Digital
17 April 2015

International Relations Minister Maite Nkoana-Mashabane will meet ambassadors and diplomats from other African countries on Friday to discuss the latest wave of xenophobic attacks in the country.

Five people have died during violent confrontations in KwaZulu-Natal since last Friday, and thousands have been displaced. A peace march was held in Durban on Thursday, attended by thousands of people, including the province's premier, religious leaders and celebrities.

But as the march wound up, pockets of people started gathering at nearby Dr Pixley KaSeme and Joe Slovo streets once the marchers had passed through and started forming larger groups.

Groups of the 800 police officers deployed in the province formed human chains and used tear gas, rubber bullets and water cannons to clear them and nine people were arrested for gathering illegally. They were expected to appear in the Durban Magistrate's Court on Friday.

Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said this charge was chosen because they had not applied for permission to gather in such large groups in the centre of the city.

On Thursday afternoon, a plant in Mozambique owned by Sasol stopped work as Mozambican employees of contractors at a natural gas processing facility in Temane refused to work in protest over the events in South Africa, and also demanded that the South Africans there go back home.

Sasol spokesperson Alex Anderson said there had been no cases of violence and the situation remained calm.


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