Dozens of people have been arrested in the South African city of Johannesburg after rioters looted shops and torched buildings and vehicles.
Many of the targeted shops are reported to be owned by foreign nationals.
But the country’s police minister, Bheki Cele, said “criminality rather than xenophobia” was to blame for the “senseless violence”.
“[Xenophobia] is used as an excuse,” he told reporters after visiting the city’s Central Business District, where much of the unrest has been taking place. “Nothing… has sparked any form of conflict between the South Africans and foreign nationals.”
However, Nigerian Foreign Minister Geoffrey Onyeama said Nigerian shops had been targeted by “mindless criminals” and promised to take “definitive measures”.
Received sickening and depressing news of continued burning and looting of Nigerian shops and premises in #SouthAfrica by mindless criminals with ineffective police protection. Enough is enough. We will take definitive measures. @NigeriaGov @DigiCommsNG @GovernmentZA @DIRCO_ZA
— Geoffrey Onyeama (@GeoffreyOnyeama) September 2, 2019
South Africa has seen a spate of xenophobic attacks in recent months. In March, three people died during protests that targeted foreign-owned shops in Durban.
With new xenophobic attacks, Twitter users are also sharing their opinions about that sad situation in South Africa.
Me And My Boss Sell Cars here in Johannesburg And We Came this Morning and Met Our Place and All our Cars Burnt Down … This is how we feed our Families back home .. now what do we do ? So It’s a crime to come from Nigeria to Trade here Abi ? Okay ..Okay we shall see#Xenophobia pic.twitter.com/ucs5m1XMqy
— Joe Blue (@JoeBlue95693363) September 2, 2019
This shit is getting out of hand Asweargaud
— whetoski!_27 (@Whetoski2) September 2, 2019
— Udie valentine (@udie_valentine) September 2, 2019
— Man of valor (@Jaru0) September 2, 2019
South Africans on twitter posting this verse in the Bible and I am amazed how they only read up to 44 and ended there when 45 is telling them what they did to receive the 43,44… #Xenophobia pic.twitter.com/0PUzNYgNZV
— dNA (@1dNAGh) September 2, 2019
The shocking thing is that every South African on twitter supports the killings and looting going on in their country
If all of them can defend it here then you can imagine the cloud of hate going on against Nigerians on their streets
Quite unfortunate and shocking! #Xenophobia
— the Morris Monye factor (@Morris_Monye) September 2, 2019
The world must act against South Africa,
African states should close borders and put a caveat on trade with and travel to South Africa,
— (@AwDoll) September 2, 2019
I don’t dispute the fact some of Nigerians living there engage in crimes, but a responsible govt apprehends criminals and prosecute them. But you kill them and loots their shops and worst of all no one is doing anything about it. I’ve never seen such barbarism#Xenophobia
— ESQ. (@yasmeen006) September 2, 2019
What’s happening in South Africa is very sad.