The South African government released the names and nationalities of the seven people killed in xenophobic violence in the past month. The attacks have targeted foreigners in the country, but three South Africans also were among the dead.
South African citizens Thabo Owen Mzobe, Ayanda Dlamini and Petros Dlamini were shot and killed in separate areas of KwaZulu-Natal province, the country’s interministerial committee said in a statement Tuesday. A Somali national was arrested in Ayanda Dlamini’s death while two South African males were arrested in Mzobe’s killing.
An Ethiopian national, Marcus Natas, was killed east of KwaZulu-Natal in a Molotov cocktail bombing in Umlazi. A man from Zimbabwe known as “Muvo” was attack by mobs in Chatsworth, south of the coastal city of Durban where the anti-immigrant violence first broke out at the end of March. Mozambican citizen Dava Sebaastio was attacked north of Durban in Verulam. South African police are still investigating the killings, the committee said.
Shaofic Shaof Ul Alam from Bangladesh was shot dead in Pietermaritzburg, the capital and second largest city in KwaZulu-Natal province. Police have arrested a South African male in that shooting.
South African President Jacob Zuma appointed the committee to deal with the underlying causes of tension between native and foreign nationals living in South Africa. Thousands of people living in South Africa have been forced from their homes since the wave of xenophobic violence has spread from Durban in KwaZulu-Natal province to Johannesburg and other cities in Gauteng province.
A spate of anti-immigrant attacks swept South Africa in 2008, resulting in at least 67 deaths. Some South African natives blame unemployment and poverty issues on African migrants living and working in the country.
The government committee said Tuesday there are recent reports of some displaced residents leaving shelters and returning to their communities in South Africa, but more than 1,500 documented migrants have so far asked to return to their home countries.
“We are unyielding in our commitment to ensure that these shameful attacks against foreign nationals never happen again in our country,” the committee said in a statement. “We want to reassure those who have plans to travel to South Africa that our government is in charge. The violence has stopped.”