Xenophobia: After Zambia, Madagascar Pulls Out Of Friendly With South Africa
A part of South Africa is rocked by Xenophobia/ File Photo

Just few days after the football match between Zambia and South Africa was cancelled because of a spate of xenophobic attacks in Johannesburg and Pretoria, Madagascar too has pulled out of their friendly with Bafana Bafana.

Concise News reports that South African Football Association (SAFA) through the official Twitter account for the country’s national football team announced the development on Thursday.

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Bafana Bafana had been billed to confront the Egypt 2019 surprise package at the Orlando Stadium, but the visiting team decided to withdraw from the encounter.

Earlier, South Africa and Zambia were set to meet in the National Heroes Stadium in the Zambian capital of Lusaka Saturday, but the Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) called off the match.

The decision of both Zambia and Madagascar comes after a series of violent clashes between South Africans and foreign nationals which has resulted in the reported deaths of five people, with 189 people arrested as foreign-owned shops and businesses were ransacked in broad daylight.

Wave of violence

The violence started last week in Pretoria following the shooting of a local taxi driver, allegedly by a foreign drug dealer.
On Monday, a pamphlet attributed to a group called the Sisionke Peoples Forum circulated on social media and accused foreigners living in South Africa of stealing jobs and selling drugs.
South Africa’s president Cyril Ramaphosa condemned the “acts of wanton violence” and said there was no justification for the attacks. “We are against xenophobia,” he said in a series of videos on his official Twitter account.
“These attacks are completely against the rule of law.”
Police minister general Bheki Cele joined his president in condemning the attacks but failed to draw a connection to anti-foreign sentiments.
He told reporters after a tour of Johannesburg’s central business district the violence was due to “criminality rather than xenophobia” and that “xenophobia is just an excuse to commit criminal acts.”