Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Roundup of South Africa Violence reports.

Africa: Now the worry is revenge attacks on South Africans.

BBC: Mbeki condemns 'shameful' attacks

South African President Thabo Mbeki has condemned the "shameful and criminal" violence against foreigners that has left at least 22 dead.

Some 6,000 people, many of them Zimbabweans, have fled in the wave of violence directed at immigrants mainly around Johannesburg.

Mr Mbeki said police would get "to the root of the anarchy".

Up to three million Zimbabweans are thought to be in South Africa, having fled violence and poverty at home.

Many have sought refuge in police stations, churches and community halls.

AP: South Africa seeks to end anti-foreigner attacks

Washington Post: South Africans Fear Backlash of Violence

Gift Mahlakametsa, 33, leaned on a long, carved club on Monday and pointed to the brown mountain of mine waste that passes for a hillside in this grim patch of South Africa. Just beyond the ridge, he warned, Mozambicans were waiting for darkness, spears and guns at the ready.

"They want to pay revenge," Mahlakametsa said.

...Though police and aid groups say the violence has been mostly one-sided, with South Africans assaulting foreigners, residents of Ramaphosa said there have been counterattacks as well. They were expecting more. A gang of about 100 men -- carrying sharpened sticks, planks of wood, lengths of plastic pipe, machetes -- gathered not far from a cluster of destroyed homes Monday afternoon.

They were preparing to protect themselves, they said, from Mozambicans supposedly hiding on the hill of mine waste.

"They've burned our shacks here, and now they are going to rape our wives," said Petrus Masemola, 38, a security guard who pointed to some bent, charred sheet metal that he said had been his home.

NYTIMES: South Africans Take Out Rage on Immigrants

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