5,000 rally against xenophobia in Durban

Led by the city mayor and the premier of KwaZulu Natal province, protesters marched through Durban chanting "Down with xenophobia" and "A United Africa".

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In the wake of xenophobic attacks against foreigners in Durban, no fewer than 5,000 people have taken part in a rally against xenophobia in South Africa.

BBC reports that led by the city mayor and the premier of KwaZulu Natal province, protesters marched through Durban chanting "Down with xenophobia" and "A United Africa".

As the march was held, anti-immigrant protesters clashed with police, but were reportedly dispersed by water cannon and pepper spray.

Many jobless South Africans accuse foreigners of taking jobs in a country where the unemployment rate is 24%. But South African president, Jacob Zuma has condemned the attacks saying "no amount of frustration or anger can justify the attacks on foreign nationals and the looting of their shops"

Also a marcher at the protest, Vanessa Govender told the BBC: "it's just a mammoth show of support for all those foreigners who have fallen victim to the past two weeks of xenophobic violence"

In the last 2 weeks, violence against foreigners erupted in the Durban area before spreading to other parts of the country.

Today, Thursday police fired tear gas and rubber bullets at a crowd chanting anti-immigrant slogans after attacks on foreign-owned shops. This led dozens of migrants to seek refuge in a police station even as Malawi yesterday, Wednesday said it would repatriate its citizens.

Meanwhile the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) is investigating complaints of hate speech made against Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini.

The monarch was widely quoted as saying last month that foreigners should "go back to their countries". He however said that his comments had been distorted.

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