Anti-Foreign Anger Continues Raging In South Africa

Thousands of refugees in and around Johannesburg faced another night of terror as mobs continued their attacks upon foreigners in their homeland. In Kagiso, west of Johannsburg, many foreigners, mostly women and children began arriving at police stations seeking safety from xenophobic mobs. Residents told the Mail & Guardian, that trouble started when residents held a meeting to discuss their fears. Within twenty-four hours, a mob assaulted the people on grounds they were foreigners who took their jobs and were planning to take action against them.

Somali and Zimbabwean immigrants were among those assaulted by mobs. Some foreigneers have lived in South Africa for years, but that didn’t offer protection against the virulent hatred of the mobs. One described being told by a group of men, “You are still here. We will get you.”

In large measure, failure on the part of President Mbeki to create a vibrant economy which would provide jobs and housing is a root cause of the current anger by poor South Africans. They feel themselves to be ignored and watch foreigners secure jobs. Some believe employers prefer hiring foreigners since they can pay lower wages.