PRETORIA, April 16 — President Jacob Zuma has expressed outrage at the upsurge of xenophobic attacks in South Africa where five people have been killed in attacks in Durban and surrounding townships and the violence has since spread to two other cities — the provincial capital, Pietermaritzburg, and Howick.
Meanwhile, foreign shop owners in the central business district of Johannesburg in Gauteng province closed their doors on Wednesday after receiving warning calls.
President Jacob Zuma Wednesday condemned the on-going xenophobic attacks and called for calm. He told the South African Broadcasting Corporation (SABC) that whatever issues people might have with foreigners, using violence was unacceptable.
The president said: “What is happening in the our country is not acceptable. We condemn this that people are attacked and killed. We cannot accept that when there are challenges we then use violence, particularly to our brothers and sisters from the continent.”
He called for cool heads, saying the government was doing all it could to bring the situation back to normal.
“We’ve said it before that when we were in trouble they helped us to fir (for) our own liberation. They didn’t chase us away. And therefore, it is important to bare that in mind.”
“I’d like to convey my condolences to the victims and those who lost their loved ones. We cannot continue killing one another. We’ve seen the anger and accept that people are frustrated. We are calling for calm to solve these problems.
The president said the government was addressing the root causes of the attacks. He has assigned the Ministers of Home Affairs, Police and State Security to help quell xenophobic attacks.