Jeppestown foreigners: We forgive South Africans

Foreigners in Jeppestown say they forgive South Africans and are simply "happy to be alive".

A Ugandan national runs this Laundromat in Jeppestown. Her glass door was damaged with rocks as locals attempted to gain entry but couldn't because police rapidly responded to the incident. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Foreigners in Jeppestown whose shops were damaged and looted say they forgive South Africans and are "just happy to still be alive".

Clashes between foreigners, locals and police erupted in KwaZulu-Natal over two weeks ago and then spread to other parts of the country including Johannesburg.

Ugandan national Fauzye Namuaaje runs a Laundromat in Jeppestown.

Her glass door was damaged with rocks as locals attempted to gain entry but couldn't because police rapidly responded to the incident.

A Ugandan woman has re-opened her business. She washes and irons clothes for Jeppestown locals. Picture: Masego Rahlga/EWN.

She says she had to close her business for two weeks, fearing for her life.

"I couldn't do my job for two weeks because I was scared because they threatened to kill us, because we are foreigners."

Ghanaian national, Daniel Agbenozan was not as fortunate as his vehicle workshop was burnt with all his equipment and customer's cars inside.

Ugandan & Ghanian business owners in Jeppestown show EWN the damage caused to their workshop. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

He says the problem is that South Africans are lazy.

"There are many opportunities in South Africa but they don't know how to use them because if you are grown up and find that everything is free you are lazy."

The remains of what used to be a car burnt during xenophobic attacks in Jeppestown. Picture: Masego Rahlaga/EWN.

SANDF TROOPS SENT TO ALEX AND KZN

Earlier, the Minister of Defence Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula announced that the South African National Defence Force (Sandf) would be deployed to Alexandra to deal with the xenophobic attacks.

The army was seen arriving this afternoon ahead of a walkabout from 6pm this evening.

It's not the first time troops have been deployed to assist police in countering violence against immigrants in South Africa.

Sandf troops were last deployed to assist police during the wave of xenophobia that broke out in 2008.

Deploying troops internally is something most democracies try to avoid says policing expert Gareth Newham.

"It tends to send out a message that the police aren't in control."

WATCH: Nkosazana Dlamini-Zuma addresses xenophobia in SA.

He says when troops were deployed seven years ago, it was only after police had been battling for days to contain the eruption of xenophobic violence and needed assistance.

But Newham says that's not the case presently.

"We don't have widespread violence spiralling out of control."

He believes the decision to send troops into Alexandra is a political one, aimed at sending a strong message to citizens of African countries and their leaders that the South African government is taking firm action.

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