Zambia Cancel International Friendly With South Africa
Zambia have cancelled an international friendly football match which was slated for Lusaka next weekend against South Africa.
The cancellation follows a renewed violence against foreigners in the country which has left at least five killed and 189 others arrested.
“This is because of the security concerns, you never know what can happen,” Football Association of Zambia (FAZ) secretary-general Adrian Kashala, told AFP. “We want to be sure of the security of (the) visiting team”.
The attacks on foreign stores began a day after South African truckers started a nationwide strike on Sunday to protest against the employment of foreign drivers. They blocked roads and torched foreign-driven vehicles mainly in the southwestern KwaZulu-Natal province.
Although South Africa’s President, Cyril Ramaphosa, has vowed to clamp down on the perpetrators of the attacks after the African Union, Nigeria and Zambia condemned the attacks.
In a video address broadcast on Twitter, Ramaphosa said attacks on businesses run by “foreign nationals is something totally unacceptable, something that we cannot allow to happen in South Africa.”
“I want it to stop immediately,” said Ramaphosa, adding that the violence had “no justification.”
Separately, African Union chairperson Moussa Faki condemned the violence “in the strongest terms” but said he was encouraged “by arrests already made by the South African authorities”.
Deputy President David Mabuza condemned all attacks on foreign nationals.
“We are a nation founded on the values of ubuntu (humanity) as espoused by our founding father, President Nelson Mandela… we should always resist the temptation of being overwhelmed by hatred,” he said in Cape Town on Tuesday.
Sporadic violence against foreign-owned stores and enterprises has a long history in South Africa, where many locals blame immigrants for high unemployment.