Cape Town, May 24 : Black foreign nationals in South Africa who have been the victims of two weeks of violence, have said that they were being treated like animals and asked why only the Blacks were only being targeted.
A foreign national from the DRC (Democratic Republic of the Congo) said why only black foreigners were being attacked. "We are being treated like animals. Why is it only black foreigners who are being attacked? There are many white foreigners in the country too," news24.com quoted the man, who has lived in SA for seven years, as saying.
Another foreigner from Burundi called the attacks "inhumane and genocide".
Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters congregated outside Parliament in Cape Town on Friday afternoon to condemn the attacks on foreign nationals. Holding a placard reading 'SA FAILED BY OUR LEADERS!', one of the protesters Erna Curry said: "Deploying the army is just a short-term solution. SA is fighting violence with violence."
As the protesters gathered in Cape Town, African Union heads of state meeting in Tanzania expressed shock at the deadly violence, AU chairperson Jakaya Kikwete told reporters.
"The committee expressed shock. It is not the policy of the government of South Africa but acts of thuggery.... What is happening now in South Africa at a time when we are trying to unite the continent is really an anti-climax," said the Tanzanian President after a mini-summit near the northern town of Arusha in which President Thabo Mbeki also participated.
New outbreaks of violence came as the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) increased the estimate of the number of displaced people to 17,000, adding that "a very large percentage" of these were Zimbabweans.