CNS News 26.1.2018 11:27 am

Fears grow that xenophobic violence might spread to Pretoria

African Diaspora Forum chairperson Marc Gbaffou. Photo: ADF website

African Diaspora Forum chairperson Marc Gbaffou. Photo: ADF website

‘They are not only attacking Nigerians, but they’re attacking all foreigners and that’s a cause for concern.’

“The mere fact that you are not a South African by birth puts you in danger,” said African Diaspora Forum (ADF) chairperson Marc Gbaffou, Pretoria North Rekord reports.

Gbaffou was expressing his concern that attacks on migrants could spread to Pretoria.

READ MORE: Drug possession sparks arson in Rustenburg

Attacks on foreigners started two weeks ago in Rustenburg when six buildings believed to be owned by Nigerians, and allegedly used as brothels and drug dens were torched.

The ADF said there was growing concern that areas with a concentration of migrants such as Sunnyside might be the next target.

Gbaffou said the attacks had spread to the West Rand, where a satellite police station in Krugersdorp was set alight and police vehicles stoned during a protest against foreigners, believed to be drug dealers.

“A similar thing happened a couple of months ago in Rosettenville where community members went on a rampage to attack migrants they believed were criminals, and that quickly spread to Mamelodi, Attridgeville and many other places in Gauteng.”

Gbaffou said migrants residing in Pretoria had a reason to be concerned for their safety.

“They are not only attacking Nigerians, but they’re attacking all foreigners and that’s a cause for concern.”

Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant-Colonel Lungelo Dlamini however said there was no imminent threat in Pretoria.

“We are relying on our intelligence to feed us with information about the spread of these attacks to Pretoria, but so far we have not received anything that suggests a threat.”

Gbaffou said all migrants who were threatened in Pretoria should report the matter to the police or the forum on 010-595-2312.

The ADF was founded in 2008 after the gruesome xenophobic attacks in which 62 foreigners were killed and over 600 injured.

Gbaffou said the forum accepted some migrants were involved in criminal activity, but “that is why there are laws and communities cannot take the law into their own hands”.

Drug possession sparks arson in Rustenburg

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