As South Africa gets ready to deploy additional troops to try and quell days of looting, arson and violence, India has expressed concern about the safety of its nationals in the country.
Many Indian expats living are calling on New Delhi to evacuate its citizens while others are suggesting India request protection for the Indian community.
India has been keeping an eye on developments playing out in South Africa for days now. On Wednesday, India’s Foreign Minister Dr S Jaishankar finally spoke to his South African counterpart, Naledi Pandor. An Indian envoy also met the South African High Commissioner to India and expressed concerns over the violence.
Sources in the Indian government have told SABC News that the Ramaphosa government has reassured New Delhi, saying early restoration of normalcy and peace is an overriding priority.
Despite Pandor have said she expects the situation to improve soon, in the last few days as the violence escalated and racial tensions came to the fore, many Indian expats who live in South Africa appealed to New Delhi for help.
They have alleged that businesses and factories owned by Indians and Indian-origin South Africans have been targeted by looters.
Looting, violence continues in some parts of KwaZulu-Natal:
Some have claimed that they’ve been left to fend for themselves and pick up arms in self-defense.
South Africa is home to a large expat population – many Indians living there have praised the Indian Foreign Minister’s intervention.
South Africa’s Minister of International Relations and Cooperation has dismissed concerns that the violence is politically or racially motivated.
Instead she’s insisted that the arson and looting are criminal in nature.
South Africa claims any targeting of Indians is an attempt by ‘opportunistic elements’ to take advantage of the situation.
The unrest in South Africa began after the country’s former president Jacob Zuma was jailed for defying an order of the Highest Court in the land.
The Constitutional Court sentenced him to 15 months in prison for refusing to continue at the State Capture Commission that’s probing claimsthat the government was captured by private business interests for their own benefit during his administration. The Gupta family, which is said to have had a close relationship with him, are alleged to have been at the centre of the capture.