Nearly 5,000 people joined a rally condemning xenophobia in South Africa’s Durban city after attacks on foreigners in SA.
Rally participants led by Durban mayor and the premier of KwaZulu Natal province marched through the city chanting slogans "A United Africa" and "Down with xenophobia". Nevertheless, some anti-immigrant protesters tried to disrupt the rally but were dispersed by police.
On Thursday SA police clashed with a crowd of anti-immigrant protesters in Johannesburg after attacks on foreign-owned shops were reported. Attacked migrants found refuge in a police station.
The President of South Africa Jacob Zuma described attacks on foreigners in his own country as "shocking and unacceptable".
The main reason for fueling hatred against migrants is high unemployment rate among young South Africans who accuse foreigners of stealing their jobs.
Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini last month made a statement that foreigners should "go back to their countries", however later his spokesman Prince Thulani Zulu explained that king’s words were misinterpreted.
According to the Vanguard, Nnenna Elendu-Ukeje, Chairperson, House of Representatives Committee on Foreign Affairs in a phone interview with newsmen on Thursday in Ibadan made this plea.
She said that the call was necessary because of increasing attacks on Nigerians and non-Nigerians alike in South Africa. “The Federal Government of Nigeria should rise up to the occasion by having contingency plans to evacuate Nigerians within 24 hours to avoid us losing our citizens to these attacks.
“It is expedient to think of where all Nigerians can gather within 24 hours for safety either in our embassy or mission for the safety of our citizens,’’ she said.