UNHCR concerned over recent attacks aimed at foreigners including refugees in Mamelodi, located north of Pretoria, in Gauteng province

Pretoria, 10 June 2014 – UNHCR concerned over recent attacks aimed at foreigners including refugees in Mamelodi, located north of Pretoria, in Gauteng province.

UNHCR is extremely concerned over the recent spate of violence in Mamelodi, affecting foreigners, including refugees and asylum-seekers. Since Saturday, 7 June, foreign-owned shops in this area were attacked and looted. It is believed that the unrest began with complaints from nationals about service delivery, then fueled by rumours that refugees had lashed out at nationals, led to groups of youths launching attacks on foreign-owned shops. One refugee has been killed, one is reported missing and dozens were reportedly wounded. An estimated 75 shops have been affected.

The UNHCR supported outreach team has been monitoring the affected locations in Mamelodi and is working closely with the South African Police Services (SAPS) to try to prevent more violence.

“While we appreciate the efforts made so far, UNHCR is calling on the Government to do all it can to prevent any future incidents,” said UNHCR’s Regional Representative for Southern Africa, Clementine Nkweta-Salami.

ENDS