78 arrested in KZN xenophobic violence

Authorities in KwaZulu-Natal say there’ve been no further reported incidents of looting or attacks overnight.

A foreign national holds a knife following clashes between a group of locals and police in Durban on 14 April, 2015 amidst ongoing violence against foreign nationals living in Durban. Picture: AFP.

DURBAN - KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) police say they've now arrested 78 people in connection with the xenophobic violence in that province, but say there have been no further reported incidents overnight.

Authorities have also confirmed that the sixth person to have been killed is a 58-year-old man from a foreign African country.

It's suspected the man was attacked at his home.

The police's Jay Naicker explains.

"From the investigation, it's been established that the man is a foreign national that was living in the area. He was apparently at his home when an unknown mob attacked him. They assaulted and stabbed him several times."

Naicker says the man then fled his home and died of his injuries not far from his residence.


And as the death toll rises, eThekwini Mayor James Nxumalo is planning walkabouts in refugee camps as well as townships, where attacks on foreign nationals were launched.

While reports of violent attacks on foreigners have decreased dramatically in the province since a peace march was held this week, KZN Premier Senzo Mchunu and religious leaders have appealed for calm, and have called on Africans to unite.

Nxumalo also visited the Durban Point area on Friday, where locals barricaded the road and clashed with foreign nationals earlier this week.

WATCH: Xenophobic violence: Durban mayor addresses residents

Foreign nationals from North and West Africa appeared very relieved by the mayor's visit to Point Road on Friday, and say they are eager to reintegrate into township communities, but only if it's safe.

Some of them say they've been effectively restricted to the inner city as they fear using public transport.

Nxumalo says he is conducting walkabouts in the area to assure people that police will keep them safe.

"We don't want anyone to instigate anyone, whether that person is a South African or non-South African because for us is to make sure that we begin the process of normalising the situation, so that we can start the process of reintegration of some of the people who may be coming from other areas."

While the mayor visits these sites, governments sent from Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique and Somalia are expected to continue arriving today to transport their citizens home.

WATCH: Durban residents march for peace


Meanwhile, foreign nationals living in the Point area in Durban's inner city say they believe locals have tried to attack them because they're lazy, and have warned that if they leave their expertise many jobs will be lost.

The foreigners have refused to leave the area and say people living in refugee camps around the city are struggling, so they would rather remain in their shops to defend what they have.

Earlier this week residents and business owners barricaded parts of the road in a tense standoff with locals from surrounding townships.

Varfee Kenneth from Liberia says they have benefitted from South Africa's economy because they don't have the same opportunities at home.

"We are here in South Africa as brothers and sisters. We are not here to show that we are so special, no. we are West Africans, we believe in hard. We'll have to work hard and sweat, so when you are not doing nothing I'll take that opportunity and something with it because this is not my country."

WATCH: Foreigners want to go home

At the same time, Eric Angolano from the Democratic Republic of Congo says when they told Asians to leave their country in 1991, there were dire consequences.

"We fire them for we control their business but it was something like a shame because we were never ready to running a big business, that's why they out the country down. Today they are fighting we coming from Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Congo but tomorrow it's going to be an Indian, after tomorrow it's going to be whites."