South Africa arrests hundreds over xenophobic violence

Police arrest more than 300 for crimes against migrants, after violence kills eight and displaces more than 1,000.

Al Jazeera, April 20

South Africa’s government has vowed to crack down on xenophobic violence, after arresting more than 300 people for a range of crimes against migrants.

Authorities said on Sunday in Johannesburg that 307 suspects had been arrested for a range of xenophobic-related crimes.

Security agencies have also increased the police presence on the ground after at least eight deaths in anti-immigrant violence in the past week.

“They have actually pushed other people to leave their own comfort zones, their homes,” David Mahlobo, the minister of state security, said.

More than 1,000 people have been displaced after violence against foreign nationals flared up on March 30 in the country’s coastal province of KwaZulu-Natal, whose capital is Durban.

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  • South Africa Deploys Army to End Anti-Immigrant Attacks

    AP, By Lynsey Chutel, April 21

    Johannesburg – The South African army has been deployed to areas in that remain volatile after a spate of attacks targeting immigrants, the defense minister announced on Tuesday.

    Soldiers have already been sent to support police in troubled areas, Defense Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said in a live broadcast.

    The minister made the announcement in Alexandra, a Johannesburg township where a Zimbabwean couple survived a shooting overnight. The man was shot in the neck and his partner was shot in her leg, the minister said. Both Zimbabweans were treated and discharged from hospital.

    In the same Alexandra neighborhood, a Mozambican man was stabbed to death by four South African men over the weekend. Photographs of the stabbing were published in a local newspaper on Sunday. The four South African men appeared in court on Tuesday and remain in police custody, said Velekhaya Mgobhozi, the National Prosecuting Authority spokesman.

    Troops were also sent to Durban, the coastal city where the attacks on foreigners began, Mapisa-Nqakula said.

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