Page last updated at 20:03 GMT, Monday, 19 May 2008 21:03 UK

Your comments on S Africa violence

Some 6,000 people have fled a wave of attacks on foreigners in South Africa which has left at least 22 dead.

Readers have been sending their views to the BBC News website.

Click here to read the main story


It is terrible here. A friend's garage was set on fire. He had just arrived back from home. All 12 cars in his workshop were burnt to ashes. Police say they arrived too late to salvage anything.


I drive past an informal settlement, every day to work. This morning there were burned clothes and materials that had to be removed off the road so that the cars could pass. I also saw three different sets of people moving their belongings to safety, either in plastic bags or in suitcases. The vendors' stores along the road had been burnt down and ripped apart. Everything was still smouldering. It's shocking what's happening in this country at the moment!


The violence you're seeing is an extension of the violence that is silently killing the people in South Africa. We're, even as citizens born in this country, not even safe in our own homes and vehicles with a murder figure of 16,000 average a year, with 146,000 violent house robberies a year and to top it all, every 30 seconds a rape takes place.


The violence is caused by Mr Mbeki's ignorance towards the severity of the problem in Zimbabwe, and the fact that he is supporting Mugabe. Thousands of illegal immigrants are crossing the borders of South Africa on a daily basis from Zimbabwe. What did Mbeki expect from the poor that now have to compete for jobs etc?


Working as a volunteer in Alexandra Township for educational purposes, I've witnessed during the past year how xenophobic vibes had already become deeply rooted within South Africa's poorly developed townships.


All violence is wrong! However uneducated refugees from South African neighbours are flooding South Africa. Without education they turn to crime. Most violent crimes are committed by Zimbabweans and Mozambique citizens. This was a time bomb waiting to happen. South Africa needs "real" border control.


The South African government does not have systems in place to handle the influx of refugees, immigrants and illegal immigrants. The Department of Home Affairs should not grant asylum status to refugees without offering them basic means to survive. There is not a single refugee centre in our townships. A high number of foreigners come to South Africa and settle in the already densely populated townships and squatters' camps. The government cannot leave poor South Africans to fight with foreigners for resources in the townships.


I live and work in Johannesburg area and am here as a UK citizen with a work permit. I went to walk my dogs yesterday and I travelled past a small township. The road was blocked by police and from what I could see there were tyres being burnt and rolled into the road. My gardener, who lives near there, said that they killed and raped women. The areas that are being targeted are not Europeans but Zimbabweans and other Africans living in South Africa.


Things are looking real bad here. Mobs are roaming the streets in search of foreigners. Police stations are set up as temporary shelters. Stoning of police vehicles is commonplace. Tyres are burned everywhere to block police entering townships.


Fourteen years into "democratic" South Africa the Rainbow Nation is unravelling. We're back where we were in the 1980s, with people being "necklaced" (car tyres put around their neck and set alight), and the army is back in the townships. Where is Mandela's republic?


My cousin got married in a smart area of Johannesburg this weekend but the MC still had to read out a long list of which ways were safe to drive home after the wedding. I am told it is a war zone and South Africa is sinking fast.


As a young South African currently in the UK, I sit in front of the computer with chills running through my veins. I am shocked, angry and quite frankly disgusted that the South African government is not doing something about this situation. Citizens from across the world feel for Zimbabweans who seem to pull the never-ending short straw concerning their fate and at the end of the day all Southern Africans pay the price and get benchmarked with disconcerting, stereotypical unfairness.


As a South African, I truly feel for these displaced Zimbabweans. All they want to do is to live. They have been incarcerated by their own dictator just like the black South Africans were incarcerated by the apartheid regime. These people share this in common, yet it disgusts me how there is no empathy, no goodwill for another in hardship.

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