SA: Fear spreads among immigrants in South Africa

Immigrants living in South Africa fear attacks may spread across the country after an outbreak of violence in this eastern port city left at least five people dead.

Foreign shopowners in Johannesburg’s city centre shut their businesses this week, with the police maintaining a heavy presence in the area. Amir Sheikh, chairman of the Somalia Community Board of South Africa, said a group of locals threatened immigrant shopkeepers and messages were being circulated on social media networks calling for “mass attacks on foreigners.”

South Africa is in the midst of the worst anti-foreigner violence since 2008, when about 60 people were killed and 50,000 forced from their homes. A wave of attacks in January against mainly Somali, Ethiopian and Pakistani shopowners in townships around Johannesburg, followed by looting, left at least six people dead.

Source: Bloomberg News