Fear xenophobia behind KZN attacks

2014-12-16 16:16

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Johannesburg - Recent arson attacks on Somali-owned shops in KwaMashu, near Durban, could be motivated by xenophobia, KwaZulu-Natal Community Safety MEC Willies Mchunu said on Tuesday.

"Attacking foreign-owned shops is equal to xenophobic attacks," Mchunu said in a statement.

These acts were "against the values South Africa stands for".

Mchunu said there had been two petrol bomb attacks on shipping containers, from which Somalis operated their businesses, in the area's C-section.

Police were only able to confirm one attack, last Thursday, in which two people, a Somali business owner and his assistant, sustained serious burns.

"[The owner and assistant were] accosted by two unknown males who threw petrol bombs through the window," Major Thulani Zwane said.

He said the motive was not yet known and no arrests had been made.

Mchunu said the attacks were "unwarranted".

"If people have got issues with the level of competition presented by foreign business owners and their impact on local business owners, such must be discussed through proper channels and peacefully."

Mchunu said a community meeting would be held about the matter on Thursday.

Read more on:    willies mchunu  |  durban  |  xenophobia  |  crime

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