Kenyans owned businesses attacked in South Africa xenophobia – High Commissioner

South African looters take items from an alleged foreign-owned shop during a riot in Johannesburg on September 2. The Kenyan High Commissioner to South Africa Jean Kamau has said shops owned by Kenyans have been looted too. [AFP]

By Agencies

Kenyans have been hit in the widespread looting and protests linked to xenophobia in South Africa.

Gauteng province, which includes South Africa’s largest city Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria has the highest rate of violence against foreign nationals.“The Kenya High Commission has since reached out to the affected individuals and encouraged them to respond to the instructions and calls by the South African police to report and open files regarding all incidents,” the Pretoria-based embassy said in a statement.
The embassy called on Kenyans living in South Africa to work with local diaspora leaders to monitor the situation and take measures to safeguard their security.The High Commission said it can be reached on phone through +27 12 362 2249/51 or on the email“All must remain vigilant and aware of their environment.”It further cautioned against fake news over the attacks, urging Kenyans to ‘exercise caution and seek clarification where in doubt’.
“We have established that some of the circulated clips are outdated while some are not in South Africa. These kinds of sensational news should be shunned as this not only causes panic among Kenyans and does not help the situation at hand,” the embassy said.The attacks have attracted criticism from other African nations even as many leaders are pulling out of the World Economic Forum that was to begin in Cape Town today.

Rioters in the Johannesburg suburb of Turffontein on September 2, 2019. The group accuses foreigners of causing the high unemployment rates in South Africa. [AFP]

The attacks, which are not a first in the country, started on Sunday when a building in the Johannesburg caught fire and collapsed, killing at least three people.The fire spread to neighbouring shops in the area that is largely area largely populated by economic migrants.Sporadic violence by South Africans who blame immigrants for high unemployment in the nation then broke out. At least five people have been killed in the unrest.More than 90 people have been arrested over the attacks.


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