The recent attacks in Kwa-Zulu Natal and Durban are attributed to comments made by the Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini. He is alleged to have told foreigners to go home. The attacks involved beatings, killings, and burning and looting shops and property owned by foreigners. Five people have been killed, including a 14-year-old boy who was shot on Monday. Over 1,000 foreigners have fled their homes.
Some South Africans accuse foreigners of taking away jobs, businesses, and engaging in criminal activities.
Between 2000 and 2008, at least 67 people died in xenophobic attacks. In May 2008, a series of riots left 60 people dead. In January this year, 4 people were killed in Johannesburg in similar attacks.
Using the hashtags #XenophobicSA and #AfrophobicSA South Africans and non-South Africans immediately took to Twitter to express their disgust and shock at the brutality displayed by South Africans and lack of action from the South African government.
Nakaka Ronald, a technology adviser from Tanzania, wrote:
(Black Consciousness is a political and philosophical movement to transform Black thought that was founded by South Africa anti-Apartheid hero Steve Biko.)
Oyinlola, a poet and author based in Ireland, asked South Africans:
Ghadafi Ghadafi from Kenya asked:
Another Kenyan Twitter user, Nyawira Njoroge, wrote:
Responding to claims that foreigners take up local jobs,Abi Mwachi, a medical doctor based in Mombasa, Kenya, suggested:
Joan Mumbua concluded that Africa will remain a Third World continent:
Meanwhile, James Chikonamombe, a Zimbabwean national based in the US, saw the attacks as evidence of the failure of Pan Africanism (a political philosophy that promotes solidarity among Africans):
Referring to the recent removal of the colonialist statue of Cecil Rhodes at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, Ashley Mendelowitz tweeted:
South African journalist Nomsa Maseko addresed her tweet to South Africans and the country's political leaders:
Another Twitter user compared the attackers to militants from the militant groups Al Shabaab and Boko Haram:
Zimbabwean poet Larry Kwirirayi warned social media users against spreading misinformation:
South Africa is like Egypt, wrote James Chikonamombe:
Tweeting from South Africa, a supporter of a borderless Africa observed:
Mukula and Caroline Kere discussed how other Africans have sacrificed for South Africa's liberation:
On the same point, AKA said:
Some Twitter users took note of the fact that businesses owned by white immigrants were not attacked.
Tatenande from Namibia asked:
However, Wadzanai Thembani, argued: