Worried reports of violence against Indians arose in South Africa as the entire country suffers in chaos. After the imprisonment of ex-president Jacob Zuma, widespread looting and violence had erupted in the country since last Wednesday, while President Cyril Ramaphosa’s government has assured that these attacks were not racially motivated.
The protests going on over the arrest of Jacob Zuma triggered the violence, Zuma was serving a 15-month-long prison term for defying a court order and refusing to testify in connection with a probe into alleged corruption during his stint in the office of the President of South from 2009 to 2018. Around 70 people have been killed and a large number of shops, houses were burned and looted across South Africa. So many people were killed over stampedes, as thousands plundered retail outlets, malls and even radio stations.
According to India today, The South African government deployed more than 1,200 troops in the provinces of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng in a bid to contain the violence and restore order. Among areas affected by the ongoing rioting are Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Johannesburg. All of these cities have a sizeable population of Indian expats. There have been several reports of businesses owned by Indians and Indian-origin South Africans being targeted by looters. The rioting and looting it has now turned into targeting Indians and Indian businesses. Some believe that Indians are the root cause of their poverty and suffering and claim that Indians have taken away job opportunities because of which Indians are facing this violence, racism and discrimination. Some even faced dead threats for speaking about discrimination of Indians in South Africa.
On Wednesday, the External Affairs Minister (EAM) Dr S Jaishankar called on his South African counterpart Dr Naledi Pandor regarding the safety of Indian expats. Pandor assured the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) that the South African Government is doing its best to restore normalcy.
Secretary (MEA) Sanjay Bhattacharya also met Joel Sibusiso Ndebele, South Africa’s High Commissioner to India, to discuss the situation. “Appreciate the conversation with South African Foreign Minister Naledi Pandor today. She assured that her government was doing utmost to enforce law and order. Early restoration of normalcy and peace was the overriding priority,” Jaishankar said in a tweet on Wednesday
The safety and security of Indians or people of Indian origin living in South Africa is the utmost priority in the wake of the violence that the country is witnessing over the arrest of former President Jacob Zuma on corruption charges. The South African side has assured that its government is doing its best to enforce law and order and assured that things will get back to normal soon and peace was its overriding priority.
Indians ( NRI’S and PIO’S) are living under tremendous stress. The situation is catastrophic. Most of the Indian businesses are looted and now rioters on the streets are now reaching their homes.
MEA secretary Sanjay Bhattacharya met the High Commissioner of South Africa to India, Joel Sibusiso Ndebele. They emphasised that the ongoing events were criminal in nature and not political or racially motivated. Although Indians constitute 2.5% of South African population and they often faced discrimination from the black community in South Africa. Both sides expect the situation to improve soon and peace to be restored in the state