Zambia’s High Commissioner to South Africa Emmanuel Mwamba has appealed to politicians in that country not to issue inflammatory statements against foreigners as they campaign for the May 9 elections.
Apart from KwaZulu Natal Province, Durban has reportedly also been affected by the attacks.
“There are reports of foreign nationals being evicted from homes, beaten, harassed, stoned, or killed especially in Kwazulu Natal Province. Because of xenophobic attacks that occurred in 2008, 2015 and 2016, it is imperative to raise immediate alarm as soon as credible information is received on such attacks. This is to help alert authorities on the attacks and to help prevent and stem further loss of properties and life,” High Commissioner Mwamba has stated.
“Gruesome videos have been circulating on social media the last few days showing foreign nationals being beaten by mobs. Reports from our people indicate that Durban has been affected so far.”
He stated that although no single Zambian is affected so far, “it’s a matter we are watching closely and Zambians in South Africa are urged to call or reach us if they are in distress or assure us of their safety”.
“We recognize that South Africa goes to the national polls on 9th May 2019 and political campaigns are in full bloom. We however call for calm, and for responsible statements from political leaders as any careless remarks against foreign nationals living in South Africa has potential to spark heightened hatred, destruction of property and life targeted at foreign nationals living in South Africa,” stated High Commissioner Mwamba.
“As a community of African Diplomats, we will seek to immediately engage South African authorities to understand the sudden re-occurrence of what appears to be clearly xenophobic or afro-phobic attacks against foreign nationals of African descent.”