Xenophobic Attacks in South Africa: When Africans Kill Africans Because They Are “Foreigners”


The pictures you are about to see in this news story are barbaric and horrible. Viewer discretion is highly advised. In recent days in South Africa, a deadly outbreak of anti-foreigner violence has left some African migrants dead, injured and homeless.

There are lots of Africans who have migrated from their home countries to South Africa to seek greener pastures. But the recent violence against them shows that some South Africans do not want them in the country anymore. Many say that the foreigners have taken all their jobs from them, and that is why they want to cleanse South Africa of their fellow African foreigners.

Government worker tries to rescue people who were put on fire.
Police trying to rescue people who were put on fire.


“Our citizens took action because they would n0t leave and they were being told they must leave. They came with nothing; they can go with nothing as well. I feel bad because they left crying, but we have no choice. They should go because we have no job. I’m a citizen and want to work for 150 rand a day but foreigners will do it for 70 rand a day. In the kitchens and the factories they are taking over our jobs. They bring cheap goods and we don’t know where they are from. They leave their countries with a lot of skills and we have nothing”, a South African citizen who supports the xenophobic attacks said.

Some foreigners had their property destroyed and looted. The unfortunate ones were brutally killed either by being burned alive, or being clubbed to death, and many have fled to the safety of neighboring countries. Police said that they have recovered four bodies, badly burnt.

A foreign national holds a knife to protect himself against the Nationals, who are ready to kill him. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images
A foreign national holds a knife to protect himself against the Nationals, who are ready to kill him. Photograph: AFP/Getty Images

The city of Durban is the worst hit, and victims spoke of the horrible ordeals that they had suffered from the agitated youth who engage in these attacks.

“They beat my husband with sticks; they took everything, money, food, clothes for the baby. They said if you don’t give us these things, we will kill you. We want your shoes; remove your T-shirt.’ They took everything, even passports and IDs. The police came but they didn’t do anything because they are afraid of those boys”, a victim told reporters.

Gift of the Givers is an aid organization helping fleeing migrants by giving them temporary shelters. It said that more than 10,000 immigrants have fled their homes in Durban alone. There is no accurate data to determine those affected in other parts of the country.


“Over the last 48, 72 hours, it has escalated substantially. You are now talking about 10,000 people who have been displaced. These camps were basically set up very quickly, the violence is spreading,” Imtiaz Sooliman-founder of Gift of the Givers said.

The incident is tarnishing the image of South Africa, both on the African continent and outside. Many Africans took to Social Media to express their disappointment with a country that they had all supported during the white minority rule known as apartheid.

President Jacob Zuma has condemned the attacks and urged for calm, but nothing has changed since his statement. The West African Regional block-Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has condemned the attacks and has tasked the South African government with granteeing the security of foreigners who come under attack.



“ECOWAS Heads of State and Government condemn the barbaric, criminal and xenophobic murder of innocent African foreigners in South Africa. We welcome the statement of our brother, President Jacob Zuma, and his assurances of a peaceful resolution, but we request for an urgent national action plan, backed by a behavioral change campaign against xenophobia in South Africa”, a statement signed by ECOWAS chairman, John Mahama said.

The Ghanaian government has said that it is evacuating its citizens from South Africa as soon as possible. Other African countries too are doing same and some have held protests at the embassy of South Africa in their home countries.

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Meanwhile, independent observers have said that the South African government is to blame for failing to create jobs for the youth, who are in turn attacking innocent foreigners. The South African government had suffered many corruption allegations last year, amid rising unemployment in the country.

We urge all those who are engaged in these violent acts to exercise restraint and use the appropriate channel to seek redress, because human life is precious.


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  1. I am a South African woman residing in South Africa. I am ashamed of the South Africans who are guilty of the horrible things done to the so called “Foreigners”. It is the saddest thing, and no not enough have been done to aid these people who have worked hard to obtain whatever they have. It’s sad that the illiterate people who behaved in this barbaric manner will forever tarnish our Rainbow Nations image. These people seem to think that being born in a country entitles you more than the next person. These so called foreigners are driven people who are willing to work hard for what they have, however certain South Africans use this opportunity to loot these people of their hard earned money, this is a smokescreen for their violence and thieving tendencies. As for our government, they could have deployed the military they knew that the police could not handle the mob, but they watched these poor people die one by one butchered. Opportunity waits for no man. No country is inhibited by one nationality and South Africa is not an island we need our fellow Africans as we need the rest of the world, but unfortunately the inhumane and uncivilized are many in our lands and the sane are few, neither do we have the advantage of having caring and smart people running the country, it’s only the greedy and those interested in self gain.

  2. I am also a South African man, and I’m deeply ashamed by the acts of my fellow South Africans. These attacks are not limited to foreigners. Here is a link as to what these psychopaths are doing in our country, the young kids in this vid is alleged to be criminals. http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=3d8_1428686925 Our government does nothing other than making a speech and then drive off in their SUV’s back to the safety of their houses far away from the problems that face South Africa. This is not justice. This is not freedom. This is not the legacy we fought for in this country.

  3. So disappointed and disgusted with South Africa,
    who do you think helped you in your liberation struggle?
    as late as 2009 we had sangomas from South Africa who can to exhume and retrieve the remains of South African freedom fighters from Zambia so they could be buried on their home soil.

    We harbored you during the struggle, harbored you leaders and trained your leaders…this is your response to the sacrifices Africa suffered for you.
    some of our cities were even bombarded because they were a safe haven for your freedom fighters. South Africa this is your response?

    With disgust, Africa has noted your response, we will not forget the evil you have dealt to us.
    Time will dealer for us an opportunity to repay you.

    Citizen of Africa,

  4. “I want to work for R150 a day” Well you better be good then, shitlord.

    Disgusting behaviour, slaughter the animals and send the message once and for all “We are no longer supportive of this nation of lazy, violent animals”

  5. is true one day they will pay SA is not Europe is just African country like another country , don’t think you are better like other . You are doing a big mistake.


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