Zimbabweans living in South Africa have reportedly engaged the African National Congress (ANC) to intervene, following recent “xenophobic attacks” in Pretoria and Johannesburg.
On Friday protesters taking part in an anti-migrant march clashed with foreign nationals in Atteridgeville. Police fired rubber bullets to disperse the protesters.
According to the state-owned Chronicle newspaper, Chairperson of the Zimbabwean Community in South Africa, Ngqabutho Mabhena, claimed that there was a third force behind the attacks and accused some opposition parties of trying to “destabilise” the country and the ANC-led government.
“In our view, the xenophobic attacks are well co-ordinated and political. Opposition parties which are fighting the ANC government want to make South Africa ungovernable and they are mobilising communities to attack foreigners.
“We have engaged ANC, Cosatu and the South African National Civic Organisation to help address the problems since they have branches in those communities,” Mabhena was quoted as saying.
Mabhena, whose organisation represented at least 500 000 Zimbabweans, said although they did not witness incidences of violence in the recent attacks, the situation remained “volatile”.
Last week on Saturday, residents of Pretoria West raided homes they alleged were being used as brothels and drug dens. They called on “pimps” to release prostitutes and send them back home. Two houses were set alight.
On February 11, at least 10 houses allegedly being used for drug dealing and prostitution were set alight in Rosettenville, Johannesburg. Locals alleged that Nigerians were the source of the criminal activity.