Kenyan businesses have been caught in the looting and protests storm of xenophobic attacks in South Africa. Jean Kamau, the High Commissioner to South Africa, has confirmed.
The high commissioner said that Kenyans residing in Gauteng Province have been physically assaulted and their businesses looted and burnt.
“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 embassy said in a statement.
The High Commissioner added that Kenyans must remain vigilant and skeptical of the environment further cautioning against widespread fake news mainly in the form of outdated video clips.
“Kenyan community members in South Africa are asked to ensure that they work with their local diaspora leaders to monitor the situation and take measures to safeguard their security. All must remain vigilant and aware of their environment,” she said.
The violence erupted on Sunday night and was instigated by South Africans, who among other things claim the immigrants are the cause of high unemployment in the nation.
At least five people have been killed following the unrest, the South African Police say that it has arrested 189 people following the attacks.
The unemployment rate in South Africa is nearly 28%, the highest since 2011 when the labor force survey was introduced.
The country is one of Africa’s most-industrialized economy and is deemed very attractive by residents of other counties who emigrate in search of a better life.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned the attack saying that it’s totally unacceptable, “Its something that we cannot allow to happen in South Africa, I want it to stop immediately,” he said adding that the violence had “no justification.”
However, this is not new for the Ramaphosa-led country, South Africa has had waves of xenophobic violence in the past with the worst outbreak in 2008, where more than 60 people died.
These fresh attacks come at a time when South Africa is hosting the World Economic Forum on Africa, the presidents of Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi have boycotted the event over the attack.
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