Xenophobic attacks: Cyril Ramaphosa orders arrest of perpetrators
South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has called for the arrest of those involved in a spate of attacks targeting foreign-owned businesses in the country.
Ramaphosa said in a statement that he had convened a security meeting with law enforcement agencies to stop the violence.
He said there was no justification for the attacks and warned that violence on foreign businesses could trigger xenophobic attacks against South Africans living abroad.
“The attacks on people who run businesses from foreign nationals is totally unacceptable,” Ramaphosa said.
“There can be no justification whatsoever about what people are having a grievance over that they should go out and attack people from other countries because when they do so here, they should also know that fellow South Africans will be attacked in other countries,” the President said.
Looters run off an alleged foreign-owned shop in Turffontein in Johannesburg on Monday.
Several shops and businesses were looted and burned down in a riots that broke out in a neighborhood in Johannesburg on Sunday, according to the South African police. Many foreign owned businesses were targeted in the violence.
Police said 70 people have been arrested in connection with the incident which began in Jeppestown, a neighborhood in the city, but has quickly spread to other areas.
The Nigerian government summoned its ambassador Bobby Moroe on Wednesday saying some of its citizens were targeted in the attacks.
President Muhammadu Buhari said he was deeply concerned about the situation, and he has also sent a delegation to meet with Ramaphosa over the attacks.
Zambia’s transport ministry has also warned truck drivers against traveling to South Africa until security issues have been resolved, according to a local media report.