Foreign nationals working in Durban living in fear again after shops looted

Foreign nationals working and living in Durban fear that they will be attacked again after their businesses were looted and torched during a protest on Monday.

FILE: Foreign nationals working and living in Durban fear that they will be attacked again after their businesses were looted and torched during a protest on 25 January 2021. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN

DURBAN - Foreign nationals working and living in Durban fear that they will be attacked again after their businesses were looted and torched during a protest on Monday.

The demonstration was organised by members of the Umkhonto Wesizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA).

In their memorandum to Premier Sihle Zikalala’s office, they detailed their anti-foreigner sentiment and also rejected the use of masks and COVID-19 vaccines.

Police said that a breakaway group also targeted at least two foreign-owned shops and a street vendor’s stall.

The police’s Jay Naicker said they had arrested one suspect and are looking for more.

A case of public violence is being investigated and the man who was taken in has been charged with attempted murder.

But this is little comfort for Henry Umunna, a foreign national who said that police had been ineffective in dealing with MKMVA members who continuously harassed them.

“Since MKMVA started these attacks, they have been chasing foreigners away and we are scared for our lives. We are not safe; we normally close at around 7pm or 8pm but we now close at 5pm because of them. They throw petrol bombs inside our shops because they want to loot.”

A Bangladeshi businessman has also told Eyewitness News how he suffered damages of at least R400,000 after his shop was torched.

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