South Africa's Latest Xenophobic Attacks Target Somali Nationals
The latest xenophobic attacks in South Africa have already left 13 Somali nationals dead in Khayelitsha this past Saturday.
News24 reports that eleven men, suspected to have been involved in the murders, have since been arrested and taken into police custody. However, the Somali community feels that inaction on the part of the police has contributed to these ongoing murders. According to IOL, the SCBSA alleges that the "unabated extortion of foreign-owned businesses" where Somali business owners are being forced to pay so-called "protection fees" to gangs in the township.
Chairperson of the SCBSA, Amir Sheikh, said the following in a press statement:
"We believe the police failed to take action when this started because things have reached boiling point. This started when there was a lot of looting and spate robbery incidents. Some people offered to provide security in exchange to be paid for protection. A small pocket of opportunistic criminals saw this and used it to extort businesses and that is why we say police gave it room to grow."
Xenophobic attacks in South Africa have been an ongoing issue spanning over several years. In 2019, Johannesburg and Pretoria were embroiled in violence against foreign nationals that ultimately led to strained political relations between Nigeria and South Africa, heated exchanges on social media between artists from the two countries, hundreds of foreign nationals displaced and a handful even losing their lives.
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