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Durban xenophobic attack victims to lobby international media over their plight

Two weeks ago, foreign nationals operating shops in the Workshop area of the Durban CBD were attacked and asked to leave the country.

FILE: Police try to disperse a large crowd of around 2,000 people following a standoff between foreign shop owners and locals in Durban on 14 April 2015. Picture: EWN.

DURBAN - Foreign nationals residing in Durban on Thursday said they had resolved to lobby international media to highlight their plight after failing to get South African authorities to act on xenophobic violence.

Two weeks ago, foreign nationals operating shops in the Workshop area of the Durban CBD were attacked and asked to leave the country.

Some members of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) in KwaZulu-Natal, accompanied by homeless people, are believed to have been among those who ransacked and shut down shops owned by foreign nationals.

READ: Foreign nationals living in Durban want to leave SA amid xenophobic violence

Many foreigners said they had not been able to return to work due to violent threats and lack of police intervention.

Barthelomew Eziagulu of the Nigeria Citizens Association of South Africa said they wanted the international community to know about their issues.

“We are going to escalate this issue [and] get our consulate office and high commissioner involved, including letting other media know what is happening in Durban,” Eziagulu said.

Eziagulu said they were also preparing to defend themselves against future attacks.

“We don’t have any other option but to defend ourselves. We can’t allow ourselves to die like chickens just like what happened in 2015,” he said.

Meanwhile, KZN Premier Sihle Zikalala condemned the violence and urged locals to champion social cohesion.

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