FOREIGN nationals say they live in fear after the latest outbreak of xenophobic attacks. Oupa Mokoena/African News Agency (ANA)
Pretoria - Comments by ministers, politicians and security stakeholders about xenophobic attacks are making things worse, foreign nationals say.

They were reacting to fresh threats of xenophobic attacks after the recent outbreak in Durban.

Some said since last week they had been receiving disturbing images from family members and friends informing them of the horror they claimed had not been reported by the media.

A representative of the Somalian community in Pretoria West said that many of the foreigners felt as though stakeholders were in fact the ones aggravating the situation.

He said that since the attacks began, many foreign national shop owners had not stocked up because they feared the financial loss in the event of looting.

“These ministers and police are the reason this problem keeps repeating itself over and over again.They keep telling people that we are taking their jobs and land.

“Naturally we’re all scared because this is how it all begins, but we’re keeping in touch with each other (for) any sign of trouble”

Foreign shop owner Maryn Said said they had been on edge since the attacks flared.

She added that they were making plans to keep themselves safe.

“Before I moved to Pretoria, I lived in Joburg. I wasn’t afraid because these attacks mostly took place in townships but here everyone knows where our community lives and that makes us easy targets.”

Minister of International Relations and Co-operation Lindiwe Sisulu convened a meeting of ambassadors to South Africa to discuss the situation.

Sisulu expressed serious concerns and called on law enforcement officers to deal with criminals and those damaging properties with the full might of the law.

“All of us must stand up and send a strong message that violence, all criminal activities and looting of properties of foreign nationals will not be tolerated." Department spokesperson Ndivhuwo Mabaya said a meeting was scheduled today and would be attended by Police Minister Bheki Cele.

After the meeting, a media briefing would be held about what actions would be taken to deal with the Limpopo and KwaZulu-Natal xenophobia flare-up.

The attacks allegedly started after midnight on Sunday at Kenville informal settlement and spread to Sea Cow Lake and Burnwood.

South Africans in the affected areas have claimed foreigners were taking their jobs.

According to reports, three people have died and several were injured.

Pretoria News