FRUSTRATED South African youths who have been carrying our xenophobic attacks against fellow Africans over recent weeks have extended their activities to the Asian community attacking Pakistani businesses too.
Over recent weeks, angry mobs of South African youths frustrated with their economic plight have vented their fury on African migrants in the country, burning down businesses and attacking foreign nationals. Their actions have led to widespread condemnation, with African leaders reminding South Africans who fought for their freedom from apartheid.
In response, Nigerian airline Air Peace, despatched a plane to evacuate those who want to return home and so far, 640 Nigerians have indicated they want to leave South Africa. Yesterday, the first batch of Nigerian evacuees landed in Lagos in company of foreign affairs ministry officials.
Now the South African mobs appear to have turned their attention to the Asian community as on Wednesday a set of youths attacked Pakistani shops in Witbank. A video of the incident which has gone viral on social media, showed some Pakistani store owners engaged in a fight with the youths who were spotted fleeing with some appliances looted from stores.
In the video, one Pakistani trader who seemed to have had enough of the looters, was spotted hitting one of the men who came out of his store. In addition, the video also showed that a police officer was present at the scene of the incident but he was outnumbered by the looters.
Two other shop owners also turned up to beat up a second man at which time the police officer intervened and broke up the scuffle. South African police spokesperson Brigadier Leonard Hlathi said three people were arrested for looting, adding that some of the stolen items were recovered.
He added: “We also had a meeting with the shop owners and business people to try to put a plan in place. We are also going to do patrols.”