Durban. At least 300 people have been killed in violent protests following the arrest of former South African President Jacob Zuma on July 7. Most of these are people of Indian origin. Now people of Indian origin living in Johannesburg and Durban are being threatened with life through social media. They are being warned that if they care about their lives, they should return to where they came from.
According to the report of ‘Times of India’, during the violence, rioters are targeting people of Indian origin and burning their businesses and properties. The Indian-origin population in South Africa is around 1.4 million, of which two-thirds live in Durban. Most of these people are getting threatening messages on WhatsApp. The messager is threatening these people with Part-2 of violence. It is written in a message – ‘If you want your well being, then go back to where you came from.’
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Kimshan Raman, 33, a resident of Durban and a social activist, recently applied for the OCI (Overseas Citizenship of India) card. He said, “It is a panic reaction. Messages and videos are being shared targeting Indians. We want to protect our families.”
Riots are still taking place in parts of South Africa since July 9. Four days after the arson and looting, President Cyril Ramaphosa deployed the army to quell the violence. Due to the violence, South African citizens of Indian origin are planning back up. Many admitted that they have applied for or are in the process of doing so.
Ila Gandhi, granddaughter of Mahatma Gandhi also lives in Durban. “We are trying to unite people on racial lines and create peace and harmony, but there is a lot of uncertainty and insecurity due to threats from certain sections. We don’t know where they are going to attack and when they are going to attack.”
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During the colonial period, Indians arrived in South Africa as indentured laborers between 1860 and 1911. They were taken by the British to work in plantations, railways and mines. There are about 1.5 million Indians in South Africa, just 2.5% of the population, of which about a million live in the KwaZulu-Natal province. Huh.
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