- Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula revealed that the majority of the fatalities during the past weekend's unrest had been locals
- This comes as South Africa faces increasing pressure from other African nations to end the xenophobic attacks taking place
- The Defence Minister echoed claims that criminality is the true cause behind the violence, not foreign nationals
Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula has confirmed that out of the 12 fatalities caused by the unrest and violence in Gauteng this weekend, ten had been South Africans.
After a week of protests which focused on the Johannesburg CBD, the Defence Minister commented:
"Incidents of violence flared up, but were quickly dealt with around Jeppestown and Hillbrow. Ten people died on Sunday, bringing the total amount of fatalities to 12, 10 of which are South Africans and two are foreign nationals."
Briefly.co.za reported that foreign nationals had been targeted in the violence, which saw buildings vandalised and businesses looted.
Police Minister Bheki Cele had commented on the situation from on the ground, insisting that criminality had been a motivator in the movements, not xenophobia.
Mapisa-Nqakula had repeated this sentiment, saying that whoever is found on the wrong side of the law 'will be dealt with', News24 reports.
The minister further revealed that nearly 700 arrests had been made in related incidents.
"The charges for the arrested suspects ranged from public violence, arson, malicious damage to property, theft and possession of stolen property, possession of unlicensed firearms and ammunition, attempted murder and murder, business robbery, and ongoing contravention of the Gathering Act."
The Nigerian government has taken a firm stance against the attacks, warning that South Africa could face sanctions as citizens were given the opportunity to voluntarily flee back to the country.
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