South Africa anti-foreigner violence spreads to centre of Durban

Police fire rubber bullets as a wave of anti-foreigner violence that has killed four people in and around the South African city of Durban in recent days spreads to the town centre.

DURBAN, SOUTH AFRICA, (APRIL 14, 2015) (SABC) – A wave of anti-foreigner violence that has killed four people in and around the South African city of Durban in recent days spread to the town centre on Tuesday (April 14).

Police fired rubber bullets to disperse angry crowds, as protests were held by both immigrants and locals, some brandishing hatchets and machetes, footage from news channel SABC showed.

Shops owned by foreigners in Durban, a key port on South Africa’s Indian Ocean coast, have been looted and burnt during the violence.

Scattered crowds of protesters were still milling around various points in the city centre as darkness fell.

Senzo Mchunu, the premier of KwaZulu Natal province where Durban is situated, told eNCA that “additional police have been brought” to the province.

Local media said the army had not been called in despite mounting public questioning of the police’s ability to handle the disturbances.

In 2008, more than 60 foreigners were killed in similar unrest as locals vented frustrations over various issues, particularly a lack of jobs in the continent’s most advanced economy.

South African unemployment is officially around 25 percent but is widely believed to be much higher.

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