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Sisulu to brief African ambassadors on xenophobic attacks in Durban

Last week’s incidents of xenophobia were reported in KwaZulu-Natal, where at least two people were killed during the violence.

FILE:  Human Settlement Minister Lindiwe Sisulu. Picture: GCIS.

PRETORIA - International Relations Minister Lindiwe Sisulu will brief African ambassadors on Monday on attacks on foreign-owned businesses in Durban this past week.

Last week’s incidents of xenophobia were reported in KwaZulu-Natal, where at least two people were killed during the violence.

Foreign nationals had to seek refuge in local buildings and mosques.

Now the minister is expected to hear some criticism from the envoys about statements by prominent South Africans strongly aimed against foreigners.

Since the xenophobic attacks of 2008 that left 67 people dead, South African authorities have been reluctant to use that word.

Speaking about recent attacks on foreign-owned shops in Durban, official spokespeople are blaming criminal elements.

Sisulu has referred to the debt South Africans owe their neighbours for help in the struggle against apartheid.

African envoys said they will reinforce this and call on South African authorities to bring into line prominent personalities, like Gauteng Premier David Makuru, who have made inflammatory statements against foreigners.

(Edited by Mihlali Ntsabo)