South African president visits displaced immigrants, promises peace

South African President Jacob Zuma spoke to hundreds of displaced African immigrants Saturday, promising peace to those who wish to remain in the country. At least four people have been killed in anti-immigrant violence over the past fortnight.

South Africa's President Jacob Zuma on Saturday canceled a state visit to Indonesia to deal with a wave of anti-immigrant violence at home and promised peace to those who wished to remain in Africa's most advanced economy.

The unrest which began in the port city Durban two weeks ago and spread to Johannesburg, Africa's economic hub, appeared to have died down on Saturday as police patrolled trouble spots.

"We are certainly going to stop the violence," Zuma told hundreds of displaced African immigrants at a camp in Chatsworth, south of Durban, in a speech televised on eNCA.

"Those who want to go home, when the violence stops you are welcome to return," he said, addressing immigrants who planned to board buses provided by their governments to take them back to their countries.

Thousands of foreigners have sought refuge in camps set up in Johannesburg and Durban and the governments of Zimbabwe and Malawi began bussing their nationals back home.

Violence flared after Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini said in remarks widely reported by South African media in March that foreigners should leave the country.

He has since said his comments were misinterpreted and on Saturday attempted to defuse tensions.

"Anyone who is waiting for an order from Zwelithini to attack people, no. No," eNCA reported the king as saying during a traditional ceremony in rural KwaZulu-Natal.

At least four people have been killed in the violence over the last fortnight and foreign nationals have complained that the South African police are failing to protect them.

Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe on Saturday expressed shock and disgust at the attacks on immigrants.

"I would want now to express our sense of shock, disgust as we abhor the incidences which happened in Durban," said Mugabe, speaking on behalf of the regional Southern African Development Community and African Union, both of which he currently chairs.

You've read  of  free articles. Subscribe to continue.

Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.