Thousands of people marched through the streets of Johannesburg holding placards that said: “Xenophobia hurts like Apartheid” or “we stand against xenophobia.” Police said there is a momentary halt to the violence which enveloped the area and led to the death of at least 50 people while forcing thousands to flee for their lives. President Mbeki, whose silence and inaction played a major role in the violence being allowed to occur, finally commented: “Today we are faced with a disgrace, a humilitation as a nation in that we have allowed a handful of people to commit crimes against other Afrcans living in our country.”
At least 10,000 people are displaced in Cape Town and thousands have left the nation to return to their homes. The best explanation the Mbeki government can offer is to blame the riots on former members of “apartheid security forces,” whatever that means. Mbeki has remained silent about the terror in Zimbabwe so it is not surprising he is silent about violence in his own nation.