South Africa to deploy army to quell anti-immigrant attacks

South African soldiers will be deployed in some areas of Johannesburg to quell anti-immigrant violence that has killed at least seven people in several weeks of unrest, Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula said Tuesday. Nearly 400 Malawian refugees arrived overnight in the city of Blantyre in the south of the country, where they were met by government ministers and officials. Holding her one-year-old daughter in her arms, Malawian Agnes Salanje said she “faced death” and will never return to South Africa. Salanje said she escaped the attackers after being “tipped off by a good neighbour and we ran to a mosque to seek shelter.”

I will not go back. It is better to be poor than be hunted like dogs because you are a foreigner.

Salanje, who was a domestic worker in the Indian Ocean port city of Durban

South African authorities have struggled to contain mobs in the economic capital Johannesburg and Durban who have been attacking foreigners from Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique and other African countries. Foreigners are often the focus of resentment among poor South Africans who face a chronic jobs shortage. Chisomo Makiyi, 23, who worked at a clothes manufacturing factory in Durban, has also pledged to never return to South Africa despite “the good pay of $280 (a month)”. “My life is more important than a good salary,” she said.