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We are not being xenophobic, but all foreigners must go, say South African protesters

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Protesters in Mahikeng, capital city of the North-West Province of South Africa, say all foreign nationals must leave the province, accusing them of drug peddling and other crimes.

A large group of protesters gathered outside the museum in the town on Thursday, chanting songs and wielding placards, one of which read: “Every foreigner must go – burn their business. Go! Go! Go!”

Trevor Phelwane, one of the leaders of the protest, said foreigners have done more harm than good to the locals, adding that all they brought with them was abortions and drugs.

“The problem with the foreigners is they are killing our kids with drugs and abortions. They are doing so many illegal things in our country,” Phelwane told South Africa’s News24.

“We are not being xenophobic or what, but we are saying they must do business professionally.”

Another protester, Keoagile Mothibi, also complained that there were no job opportunities in Mahikeng, and the foreigners are posing threats to their small businesses.

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“There are no mines and factories in Mahikeng for our people to get jobs. The foreigners came in large numbers to our town and are causing a problem for our small businesses,” Mothibi said.

“We want them gone. Their placards are all over the town and our town has become so dirty.”

The protesters also demanded for the resignation of Supra Mahumapelo, the Premier of the North-West province. Mahumapelo, a member of the ruling ANC, is currently not on good terms with President Cyril Ramaphosa.

Many Nigerians have been killed in xenophobic attacks in South Africa, as the locals say Nigerians are behind the illegal drug business that is ravaging the country.

On April 23, Clement Nwaogu, a Nigerian resident in Rustenburg, North West Province of South Africa, was burnt to death by a mob.

The deceased Nwaogu, an upholsterer, was married to a South African woman and they had two children.

If you or someone you know has a lead, tip or personal experience about this report, our WhatsApp line is open and confidential for a conversation

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