10 confirmed dead in xenophobic attacks in South Africa

Ten people have so far been confirmed dead in xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

Spokesperson for the South African police Solomon Makgale revealed this in an interview on Adom FM’s morning show ‘Dwaso Nsem’.

Mr Makgale could not confirm the number of Ghanaians who have died in the attacks but said information available to the police indicates that “so far 10 people have died in the attacks”.

He also indicated that about a 100 people have been arrested in connection with the attacks and will be put before court later today.

Among the latest arrests were three men detained in connection with the murder of a Mozambican national in Alexandra, a township in Johannesburg.

Photographs showed Emmanuel Sithole being stabbed to death in broad daylight.

Emmanuel Sithole died two hours after he was sent to hospital. He sustained a 2cm gash in his chest

Five Ghanaians have died but it is yet to confirmed if all them was as a result of the xenophobic attacks.

He denied reports that residents in the province are up in arms against foreign nationals because their women prefer them over the locals since most of the men have not been circumcised – making sexual intercourse with them not enjoyable.

“We must not entertain that hogwash about sexual preferences and so on. We have been side by side for many years”, he said.

He added that “the issues are more complex and they require a lot of management and political leadership and as a police service we are behind our nation’s leaders to ensure that the perpetrators are brought to book”.

Mr Makgale said the police are out in their numbers in Durban and other places across the country to ensure that the hotspots are totally covered.

Due to the unorganised nature of the attacks, he said the police has had quite a tough time curbing the incident.

However, intelligent operatives and other forces are on hand to provide the police with information to enable it plan it operations, he noted.

He said he was hopeful that the situation will end soon and that as of this morning, the provinces where the attacks have been dominant have been brought under control.

He added that African countries across Africa should know that the attacks is not a South African position and that “many south Africans are against the attacks and have been protecting foreign nationals”.

” We are saying no to xenophobic attacks”, he said.

He assured that “we are worrying extremely hard that the criminals are arrested and prosecuted and hopefully the court will agree that they spend many many years behind bars”.

A mining company in the KwaZulu Natal Province in Durban, South Africa decided that it will only employ foreign nationals at its mining site.

This did not go down well with South Africans in the province.

The Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini is accused of fueling the attacks after allegedly saying in a response to the company that all foreigners “go back to their countries”.

Unemployed youth in the province based on this declaration took up arms against black foreigners there accusing them of taking jobs meant for them.

They stoned and looted shops of numerous foreign nationals including Ghana, Nigeria, Congo, Malawi, Zimbabwe and several others.

President Jacob Zuma’s son Edward Zuma is also alleged to have fueled the attacks after saying government needs to stop running away from dealing with xenophobia, and it must also stop unnecessarily accommodating foreign nationals.

Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini is set to urge restraint later today after his comments sparked the attacks.

Thousands are expected to pack into a stadium in the eastern city of Durban to hear King Zwelithini’s address. He insists his comments were distorted.

There has been a general outrage and backlash against the attacks.

President Jacob Zuma himself has said the wave of attacks “go against everything we believe in”.

Chairman of the Economic Community of West African States ( ECOWAS ) President John Mahama has also spoken against the attacks.

Story by Ghana | Myjoyonline.com | Naa Sakwaba Akwa | faustine.akwa@myjoyonline.com

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