South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has condemned days of widespread looting and arson attacks on foreign-owned businesses across Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria, calling the violence “totally unacceptable.”
President Cyril Ramaphosa said in a video statement published on Twitter Tuesday. “We do not allow and cannot tolerate attacks on people from other African countries.”
“There is no justification whatsoever for people who have a sense that their jobs are being taken by people from foreign lands to attack them, to destroy properties, and actually to kill them,” said Ramaphosa. “This must be stopped.”
President Ramaphosa noted that Police have arrested more than 90 people in five areas impacted by the violence.
A report by AP said that many gutted, emptied shops remained closed as shop owners, many of them foreign, feared to return to their property.
On Monday, African governments warned citizens living in South Africa to take safety precautions and expressed frustration with the latest wave of attacks targeting foreign-owned businesses in South Africa.
The Ethiopian Embassy in South Africa advised citizens to close their shops “until peace is restored”, according to Ethiopian media, and Zambia’s Ministry of Transport and Communications warned Zambian truck drivers not to travel into the country.
The Nigerian government also lashed out at South African police for their “ineffective” response to attacks on its citizens.
Nigeria’s foreign affairs minister Geoffrey Onyeama called the violence “sickening” on Twitter on Monday and said the Nigerian government would take definitive measures.