JOHANNESBURG - In light of the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa this past week, the presidents of Rwanda, Democratic Republic of Congo and Malawi have decided not to attend the World Economic Forum on Africa hosted by South Africa in Cape Town.
Some South Africans say they are retaliating against crime committed by foreigners and the sale of illicit goods by foreign shop owners, but political analysts say African immigrants have become scapegoats for rising anger over joblessness and general economic woes.
The police took action against the attacks that ravaged the City of Johannesburg by increasing deployment to areas which have been identified as 'hot spots' of violence.
Gauteng provincial police spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini in a statement released on Tuesday, "The situation has been stabilised in parts of Tshwane, Ekurhuleni, Johannesburg Central, Jeppe and Cleveland policing areas. A total of 189 arrests have been effected since Sunday for criminal acts including public violence, malicious damage to property and theft. Five murders have also been reported, two in Corronationville, two in Hillbrow and one near the hostel at Jeppe."
South Africa's National Joint Operational and Intelligence Structure (NatJOINTS) said on Wednesday it had developed a comprehensive security plan to ensure the safety of delegates attending the World Economic Forum on Africa.
South Africa will host the September 4-6 forum in Cape Town against the backdrop of rising outrage over violence against women and children, and the ongoing looting and burning of small businesses owned largely by foreigners from other African countries as well as Asian states such as Pakistan.
BUSINESS REPORT ONLINE