Anti-immigrant violence spreads in South Africa

As thousands of South Africans took to the streets of the city of Durban to rally against violence and xenophobia, an online community has joined the protests.

The marches follow recent violent attacks on foreigners in the country that have claimed five lives.

During the protest march Thursday, Twitter followers voiced their support through hashtag campaigns. #PeaceMarch and #SayNoToXenophobia were some of the most popular.

South African Police Services said more than 10,000 people attended the march, including civil rights groups and nongovernmental organizations. “The activists sit around feeling accomplished because they retweeted five times,” Flack said. “I want to reach people who see that they can lay a charge and it won’t cost them anything, but I will have done something to change the country and push it into a better state of being.”

Now, the Human Rights Commission must decide whether to investigate Flack’s allegations against the King, who denies fueling any violence. Flack hopes others will also make complaints.

Flack added that Zulus aren’t the only people in South Africa who share in the xenophobic sentiment.

“People are frustrated and unemployed, and people in South Africa pay foreign nationals a lot less,” he said of the tension between nationals and immigrants. “A domestic worker would ask for 250 rand a day to clean a house, whereas a foreign national would ask for 150 rand, so it causes resentment.”


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