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Xenophobia attacks: concerns rise over reprisal attacks in African countries

In Mozambique, there were reports that cars with South African registration plates were being stoned.

FILE: An article circulated by Nigerian newspapers incorrectly stating that Boko Haram had threatened reprisal attacks on South Africans was feverously shared on social media this week. Picture: AFP.

JOHANNESBURG - Concerns are now being raised about reprisal attacks in other African countries in response to the xenophobic violence in South Africa.

In Mozambique, there were reports that cars with South African registration plates were being stoned and trucks exporting goods grounded.

Text messages have also apparently been circulating in that country warning citizens about violence in South Africa.

In Zimbabwe, a student leader called on youths to retaliate by attacking South African businesses operating there.

Chief security analyst for Africa Red24, Ryan Cummings, said while there was some panic on social media there was an anti SA sentiment growing.

"To a degree there is a few mongering going on. But if we look across in Mozambique, we saw the Lebombo Border crossing had to be temporarily closed. In Zimbabwe we've seen a student group, for example, calling for a boycott of South African businesses."

An article circulated by Nigerian newspapers incorrectly stating that Boko Haram had threatened reprisal attacks on South Africans was feverously shared on social media this week.

Meanwhile, the Wits Zimbabwe Association on Friday said one of its members has fallen victim to the latest xenophobic attacks.

Elvis Munatswa was on a taxi on his way to Melville, in Johannesburg, when he was robbed of his belongings and wounded.

The association's spokesperson says Munatswa's injuries were minor.

"As far as we know, Elvis was sort of involved in a xenophobic attack, scuffle in a taxi and apparently he was shot at. We are told his injuries were not that severe."