Pretoria: South African police fired rubber bullets and stun grenades to break up clashes between local protesters and migrants in Pretoria on Friday at a march against immigration.
Shops and homes owned by foreigners have been looted and torched in recent weeks, with some South Africans alleging that the properties were brothels and drug dens.
Attacks against foreigners have erupted regularly in recent years, fuelled by South Africa’s high unemployment and poverty levels.
Police in Pretoria formed lines to keep apart 500 protesters as tensions rise between some South Africans and migrants from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Pakistan and elsewhere.
“We are fed up with people bringing drugs to the youth and the crimes that go with it,” said a South African marcher who declined to be named.
As the stand-off continued, Clement Melfort, 26, a migrant from Zimbabwe who had come to see the march said: “We are not afraid of fighting.”
President Jacob Zuma condemned the latest wave of xenophobic unrest, saying that there had been “threats of violence and acts of intimidation and destruction of property directed at non-nationals.”...