The immigrants, mostly African, have been housed at police stations and tents, as angry locals vowed to push them out
—in South Africa’s latest case of xenophobic unrest. They said they were intimidated to vacate their homes by locals and came to us because they feared for their lives,” police spokesman Thulani Zwane said. The attacks came days after Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithini publicly said immigrants should “pack their bags and leave” the country. The comments made during a traditional event north of KwaZulu Natal province were widely reported. Similar statements have been made by President Jacob Zuma’s son Edward.
Locals and African immigrants in South African often compete for scarce jobs, making them a target for violence and intimidation. Early this year, foreign shopkeepers in and around Soweto, south of Johannesburg, were forced to vacate their premises after violence and looting broke out. The government condemned the violence and sent mediation teams to intervene. In 2008, 62 people were killed in xenophobic violence in Johannesburg townships. Over 1,000 Africans flee homes after xenophobic attacks in South Africa