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S. Africa: Calls for calm after vigilante group murders a Zimbabwean

S. Africa: Calls for calm after vigilante group murders a Zimbabwean
Residents hold placards as they protest against the rise of crime in the area in Diepsloot, South Africa, on April 6, 2022.   -  
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South Africa

One day after the South African police announced a man had been killed by anti-immigrant protesters, authorities call for calm.

"We don't want and we can't support any South African who takes the law into their own hands", David Makhura, the Premier of the Gauteng province -where the killing occurred- said

Accompanied by a Home Affairs' team, the 54-year-old reiterated that people who moved "from door to door to identify illegal foreigners nationals", had no right to do so. "It is not the job of anybody to do but law enforcement agents. Once anyone is allowed to do that, innocent people are going to be killed", he added.

According to the reports by South African media houses, the victim is a Zimbabwean immigrant. He was murder in the township of Diepsloot (north of Johannesburg). Protests began there on April 5, after it was announced that seven people had been killed the last weekend.

Residents, angry at the police for allegedly refusing to attend to one crime scene marched through the streets with chants and placards, burning tires and camping outside the local police station.

Vigilante group

At the moment, it is unclear from which group the killers originated. The murder comes amid growing popular anger over high crime rates, sometimes directed at immigrants blamed by some of fueling insecurity.

On Friday, Operation Dudula was one of the trending topics on Twitter South Africa. Since January, the movement, which is Zulu for "drive back", has gathered a few hundred anti-immigration demonstrators at each protest. These protest have fuelled fears xenophobic attacks may happen.

Political figures have warned against vigilante-like actions. President Ramaphosa warned last week-end, that "vigilante force-like organisation taking illegal actions [...] always mutate into wanton violence". EFF leader urged his party's supporters to beware of who he called "criminals masquerading as unemployed South Africans".

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