Churches should provide safety to victims of xenophobic attacks

2017-02-23 22:24
Smoke billowed from a Rosettenville home suspected to belong to a drug-dealer. (Supplied)

Smoke billowed from a Rosettenville home suspected to belong to a drug-dealer. (Supplied)

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Pretoria - Organisations opposing xenophobic attacks on Thursday asked churches in Pretoria to provide safety to victims of recent violence.   

"There are fears around the planned march on Friday and our request to the church is to provide a sanctuary to victims of xenophobia," Trevor Ngwane of the United Front told News24.

The organisations include the African Diaspora Forum.

They had organised a prayer session in Pretoria on Thursday evening, in response to the recent xenophobic outbreaks.    

Organisers were however left disappointed when residents failed to attend it.

"It is possible that people were scared to attend the prayer session. We condemn the recent outbreak and we are opposed to it," Ngwane said.  

"All we wanted was to give scared immigrants hope and to show them that there are people who care. We have a right-wing populist movement who is trying to blame the country’s economic crisis on immigrants.”

He said if they had the power, they would mobilise people and prevent an anti-immigrant march planned in Pretoria on Friday.

“All we can do now is to raise awareness because we don’t think xenophobia will end immediately.”

On Saturday, residents of Pretoria West raided homes they alleged were being used as brothels and drug dens. They called on “pimps” to release prostitutes and send them back home. Two houses were set alight.

On February 11, at least 10 houses allegedly being used for drug dealing and prostitution were set alight in Rosettenville, Johannesburg. Locals alleged that Nigerians were the source of the criminal activity.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  xenophobia

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