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South Africa: Supporters want anti-migrant movement leader freed

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PHILL MAGAKOE/AFP or licensors

South Africa

The leader of an anti-migrant protest movement in South Africa which has gained momentum in recent months was arrested on Thursday, police said.

Nhlanhla Lux Dlamini, a black activist in his 30s, was taken to Johannesburg's central police station for questioning, a police spokesman told AFP without giving further details.

Dlamini is known in his community for parading around in a luxury sports car.

He is also known for his public appearances, almost always wearing military fatigues and a bulletproof vest.

The arrest drew criticism from members of his movement, who used social networks and social media to threaten to intensify their activities.

Since January, demonstrations called "to fight for the future of South Africans" and against migrant workers have been held regularly in several cities.

Protesters have visited shops to demand that foreign employees accused of "stealing" South Africans' jobs be fired.

These rallies have so far led to tension but not violence.

South Africa is periodically plagued by xenophobic outbreaks.

Sixty-two people were killed in riots in 2008.

Violent clashes broke out in 2015, 2016 and again in 2019.

The country has 3.95 million foreigners out of nearly 60 million inhabitants, according to official statistics.

The continent's leading industrial power struggles with 35 percent unemployment but attracts many African migrants.

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