Foreigners: We are ashamed of South Africans
It remains tense in Jeppestown as foreign nationals prepare to safeguard their belongings before night falls.
JOHANNESBURG - As the country remains on tenterhooks amid a wave of xenophobic violence, foreigners have told Eyewitness News they're ashamed of South Africans.
While some foreigners in Jeppestown say they are bracing for another night of violence, others have started repairing the damage to their homes and businesses.
More than 10 vehicles were set alight by locals overnight while shops were looted.
Police have fired rubber bullets throughout the day to disperse crowds.
It remains tense in the area as foreign nationals prepare to safeguard their belongings before night falls.
More people are packing up their belongings.
Foreign businessmen are preparing for a busy night with threats of more violence.
One South African woman says although she is from KwaZulu-Natal she also fell victim of the attacks on her Nigerian neighbours.
"They tried to steal everything, they broke into my shop and they took everything, my bed and property. I'm not happy at all, we are all human beings."
FRESH CLASHES ERUPT IN JEPPESTOWN
Fresh clashes broke out between locals, foreigners and police, with officers once again firing rubber bullets.
It's understood an argument broke out between two men a short while ago prompting the fight.
A Nigerian man says they are ready to leave South Africa.
"They want us to go, to leave this country for them. We are ready; I'm promising them, if they can give us time to go."
Gauteng police say they will not leave xenophobic hot spot areas until complete calm has been restored and have called on communities to assist officers by alerting them to any possible attacks.
Deputy Provincial Police Commissioner Theko Pharasi says they have received a number of social media messages warning non-south Africans of more attacks on foreign nationals.
"The law enforcement agencies in Gauteng province will ensure that they arrest the situation and normalise the environment so that they can live in peace gain. Again we are saying to them whatever information or intelligence they are picking up on social media must be immediately reported to ourselves."
Gauteng police have issued a stern warning to criminals attacking foreign nationals in the area that they'll be arrested.
Pharasi says they have enough officers in the area to stop the violence.
He says it is not necessary at the moment to call the defence force in for backup.
"Whoever is having any intension of doing any wrongdoing, chasing other people out of the country must take note that that is not human. A human being will always ensure that you create good relations with other human beings. Where there are differences, there is dialogue, and dialogue actual ensure that we live in peace."
#Jeppestown Nigerians have asked South Africans "just give us time" to pack up out belongings. They say they are ready to leave.— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) April 17, 2015
#Xenophobia There's talk amongst Jeppestown residents of a meeting this afternoon to discuss a way forward AK— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) April 17, 2015
AFRICAN COUNTRIES THREATEN TO RETALIATE
With tensions high in South Africa, the temperature has also been turned up across the continent with threats of reprisal attacks.
This has been exacerbated by messages and articles being circulated on social media.
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.
Security analyst Ryan Cumming says this type of irresponsible behaviour could fuel violence.
"This is obviously creating a lot of panic and I think the biggest concern at the moment is that misinformation like this is increasing tensions but also increasing nationalism which, in itself could possibly manifest itself into further violence."
ZIM READY TO RELOCATE ITS PEOPLE
Meanwhile, Zimbabwe's ambassador to South Africa Isaac Moyo earlier said his country hoped to relocate more than 500 people displaced by xenophobia in KwaZulu-Natal within the next three days.
On Friday, home affairs officials processed the identity documents of hundreds of Zimbabweans at a displacement camp in Chatsworth just outside the city, where Malawians and Mozambicans have taken refuge.
Moyo visited the camp and confirmed that Zimbabwe has joined other countries such as Malawi and Somalia in sending busses to South Africa to fetch their citizens.
"We are very grateful for the measures that were taken to help them and to protect them during their hour of need. We know a number of South Africans have really protected our people, and we have heard testimonies from a number of Zimbabweans. As early as tomorrow or Sunday I would like to see the first group of Zimbabweans move."
There are more than one thousand people living in this camp and tents have become overcrowded, while two of the mobile toilets are partially flooded.
Picture by Mia Lindeque/EWN.