Jesuits say violence continues South African history of xenophobia

Johannesburg, South Africa (Tuesday, 01/27/2015, Gaudium Press) A week of violence targeting foreign nationals and their businesses in Soweto and other Johannesburg townships is a national disgrace and ‘continues South Africa’s Jesuits say violence continues South African history of xenophobia.jpgshameful history of xenophobia,’ said The Jesuit Institute South Africa. The attacks and looting that left at least four people dead started Jan. 19 when a Somali national allegedly shot and killed a 14-year-boy who was among a group attempting to break into his shop in Soweto. By Jan. 26, police had arrested more than 160 people for the attacks. ‘The savagery demonstrated and the failure to put a stop’ to the violence ‘is deeply disturbing and displays a failure of the state to put an end to such behavior, both by the enforcement of the law and the education of citizens in respect of the rights of foreign nationals,’ the institute said in a Jan. 23 statement from its Johannesburg headquarters. With some South African officials denying that the attacks are motivated by xenophobia, The Jesuit Institute said, ‘An attack on and the systematic looting of a shop that happens to be owned by a foreigner may not necessarily be xenophobic, but a systematic series of attacks on over 80 such shops and foreign-born persons cannot simply be explained away.’

with information from CNS and America National Catholic Revieuw

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