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South African president rejects accusations of xenophobia

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South Africa

South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, said he is keeping a close eye on anti-migrant protests amid a wave of unemployment, particularly amongst young people.

Speaking to reporters in Cape Town, Ramaphosa rejected accusations of xenophobia.

"We are keeping a watchful eye on the way that people are responding to the presence of people from other countries in our own country. We have made it clear as South Africans that we are not xenophobic, we do not hate people from other countries. In fact, we embrace people from other countries", reassured the president.

Unemployment in South Africa is at 35 percent, climbing as high as 65 percent among young people.

Many resent the presence of foreign workers.

"The number of South Africans have a concern that it's possible that these people are taking their jobs and we believe that we need to address this issue with the sensitivity that it requires. There certainly is no need, by South Africans or for South Africans to take any action in their own hands", added the President.

According to official numbers, there are almost 4 million foreigners living in South Africa, including political refugees, qualified workers and economic migrants.

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