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Malema: Don't blame foreigners for SA's problems

The EFF's Julius Malema called on South Africans to work together to see an end to the xenophobic attacks.

EFF leader Julius Malema addressing Alexandra residents at the anti-xenophobia march on 20 April 2015. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has urged South Africans not to blame foreigners for the country's shortcomings.

Over the past few weeks authorities have been battling sporadic attacks on foreign nationals in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Seven people, including a 14-year-old South African boy, have been killed in the latest flare up of xenophobic violence.

At the weekend several shops were looted and one person killed during xenophobic violence in Alexandra.

Malema was speaking in Alexandra as part of the EFF's campaign against xenophobia earlier today.

The politician says locals should not blame foreigners for everything that goes wrong.

"They left their homes to feed their families so they don't have time to do crime."

Watch: Malema addresses xenophobia in Alexandra

He has called on South Africans to work together to see an end to the attacks.

Meanwhile, Alexandra locals say while they are happy to see leaders take a stand they are desperate for a solution to their problems.

LISTEN: Minister congratulates photographer on taking picture of stabbed Mozambican national.

EFF MEMBER SHOT AND WOUNDED

What was meant to be a peaceful address by Malema started off with shots being fired from an unknown assailant.

EFF supporters and members of the public took cover, moving away from a hostel where shots were fired.

One man was rushed to hospital after being shot and wounded in the leg.

Despite this, Malema urged Alexandra locals not to misinterpret the words of Zulu king Goodwill Zwelithin i as an excuse to attack foreign nationals.

ALEX FOREIGNERS OPTIMISTIC ABOUT END TO VIOLENCE

Meanwhile, foreigners living in Alexandra say they are positive the South African government will be able to win the fight against xenophobia.

Johannesburg Mayor Parks Tau and Co-Operative Governance Minister Pravin Gordhan have been visiting foreigners affected by the violence.

Tau announced earlier this afternoon that an SMS line had been established where victims could send a message that would prompt a quick response from police and emergency services members.

Gordhan has asked foreigners to be patient with government and has promised them that peace will be restored across the country soon.

"Lots of assistance is available from both the city and the community."

Some foreign nationals say they are grateful that government has finally come to the township to speak to them and the locals.

"I feel better and at least they are trying to fix everything."

Mozambican national Emmanuel Sithole was killed in Alexandra at the weekend.

All pictures by EWN.

WATCH: Running battles continue.