Indonesians unhurt by xenophobic unrest in South Africa

Indonesians unhurt by xenophobic unrest in South Africa
Police stand along a street in the Jeppestown area of Johannesburg, on April 17, 2015, following a night of immigrant-targeted violence.

The Indonesian embassy in Pretoria has confirmed that no Indonesians were hurt during the recent xenophobic attacks in two of South Africa's biggest cities, Johannesburg and Durban, where six people have reportedly been killed, an embassy official has said.

"We have stepped up efforts to keep all Indonesians in South Afirca, particularly in Johannesburg and Durban, well-informed about the violence," the embassy's first secretary on information, society and culture, Gunarmand Nainggolan, told The Jakarta Post on Saturday.

"We have also distributed circulars, including via social media. So far all Indonesians are safe.

The circular has advised Indonesians to remain alert and to avoid places prone to outbreak of violence. "So far the violence is limited to Durban and Johannesburg," he said.

There are about 400 Indonesians currently residing in South Africa, one of the most developed countries in Africa. About 50 and 20 of them were in Johannesburg and Durban, respectively, Gunarmand said.

"But there are many Indonesian sailors who come and go in Durban, which is a port city," he said.

None of the Indonesians living in either of the two cities reside in areas considered prone to violence, he added.

Allewieya Monica Suparyanto, a 68-year-old South African-born Indonesian who lives in Pretoria, also confirmed that she had not heard of any Indonesians hurt in the recent attacks on foreigners.

"The embassy's officials have sent a note out to all Indonesians regarding contact details and other information. We have an online group for Indonesians here so we keep each other well-informed," she told the Post.

"Pretoria seems relatively okay […] it was some places in Durban and Johannesburg," she added. "I hope these xenophobic attacks subside soon, it's not a nice thing at all with innocent lives being taken."

 

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