755 displaced foreigners being housed for safety in South Africa

JOHANNUSBURG, Sep 11 (XINHUA/APP):A total of 755 displaced foreign nationals in recent clashes between locals and migrants in South Africa are being sheltered at police stations in Gauteng Province, Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, minister of defense and military veterans, said here on Tuesday.

The foreigners were currently housed at DH Williams and Tsholo Community Center in the town of Katlehong, 35 km east of Johannesburg, Mapisa-Nqakula said at a press briefing, adding that 228 of the refugees were children.

South Africa erupted into a frenzy of violence last week, which was allegedly triggered by xenophobia as some South Africans claimed foreign nationals now have control over the country’s economy.

According to Mapisa-Nqakula, nearly 700 suspects had been so far arrested. Till Tuesday, a total of 12 people were killed in the violence, 10 of whom were South Africans.

Mapisa-Nqakula noted that work was being done to ensure the refugees with adequate humanitarian aid.
Meanwhile, 640 Nigerians were set to return home this week as they fear for their lives. Mapisa-Nqakula said her government was in contact with other embassies to help their citizens return home.

To avoid further violence, Mapisa-Nqakula said that “police forces remain on high alert and are closely monitoring all hotspots.”

“South Africa is not a xenophobic nation. Whoever is found on the wrong side of the law should be dealt with,” said Mapisa-Nqakula. She urged communities not to take the law into their own hands, but instead use proper channels to express their concerns.