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  1. Halima Aden wears hijab at top fashion shows in Milan
  2. South Africans hold protest against foreigners in Pretoria
  3. Police use rubber bullets and tear gas to break up groups of South Africans and immigrants
  4. President Jacob Zuma insists South Africans 'are not xenophobic'
  5. Shoot-to-kill policy announced for bandits in Kenya region
  6. Earthquake strikes Africa's deepest lake affecting Zambia and Tanzania
  7. Email stories and comments to - Friday 24 February 2017

Live Reporting

By Tom Spender and Dickens Olewe

All times stated are UK

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Scroll down for Friday's stories

We'll be back tomorrow

That's all from the  BBC Africa Live  page this week. Keep up to date with what's happening in The Gambia on the continent by listening to the  Africa Today podcast  or checking the  BBC News website

A reminder of today's wise words:

Those who do not listen to the voice of the elderly are like trees without roots."

A Luo proverb sent by Fredrick Onyango Owich, Siaya, Kenya

Click here to send your African proverbs .

And we leave you with one of our  top shots from across the continent this week .

The top tier of a cake baked for Zimbabwe's President Robert Mugabe's 93rd birthday decorated with his portrait by his office staff. 

Decorated cake for Robert Mugabe

Burundi 'to investigate 2,500 mass graves'

Robert Patrick Misigaro, BBC World Service

The truth and reconciliation commission in Burundi has announced that it is to investigate some possible 2,500 mass graves scattered around the country.

CVR, as the commission is known, said the mass graves were signalled by the population and may contain people killed in difference conflicts, since 1962.

Stories of people, who were killed and dumped in mass graves at different periods in Burundian history, are very common.

Boko Haram leader 'kills spokesman'

Tomi Oladipo

BBC Monitoring's Africa security correspondent

Abubakar Shekau
Shekau is known for clamping down on dissent among his followers

The leader of a faction of Nigeria’s Islamist militant group Boko Haram, Abubakar Shekau, says he has killed the Islamist militant group’s spokesman, according to an audio recording obtained by the AFP news agency.

The 50-minute recording appears to be of a meeting of his inner circle on 18 December.

According to AFP, Shekau said the gathering had been called to discuss "those elements grumbling over” the killing of “Tasiu”, also known as Abu Zinnira, who had appeared in several Boko Haram propaganda messages.

Shekau is known for clamping down on dissent among his followers, although this has further alienated some of his fighters.

Opposition to Shekau’s leadership led some militants to break away and form the al-Qaeda-linked Ansaru and the so-called Islamic State faction in the Lake Chad Basin.

Both groups accused Shekau of killing several Boko Haram members unjustly and opposed his sanctioning of attacks and kidnappings affecting Muslim members of the public.

In this latest broadcast Shekau does not address any of the criticisms.

Read: The six lives of Boko Haram's Abubakar Shekau

Nodding syndrome mystery finally solved

An illness that causes children to nod uncontrollably has baffled doctors for years. 

Now Robert Colebunders, a Professor of Infectious Diseases from Belgium, has discovered a link between ‘nodding syndrome’ – a type of epilepsy – and river blindness, which is spread by black flies.  

An illness that causes children to nod uncontrollably has baffled doctors for years

British woman 'tortured and killed' in SA

Susan Howarth (pictured) who was an avid horse and dog lover
Susan Howarth was an avid horse and dog lover

A British woman has died after she and her husband were tortured at their home in South Africa, according to reports.

Susan Howarth, 64, and Robert Lynn, 66, were shot at and tied up by masked raiders on their farm in Dullstroom, in Mpumalanga province.

Ms Howarth, originally from Southsea, Hampshire, died after the ordeal, on Sunday 19 February, local reports  said .

After being tortured, the couple were put in the back of a pick-up truck and left for dead in a ditch.

'Lying in a ditch'

Mr Lynn, reportedly a former electrical engineer, was tortured with a blowtorch and knives.

According to local newspaper the Middelburg Observer, he returned home after the death of his wife, known by locals as the "English girl", on Tuesday.

Read the full story here

Somali-American stars at Milan fashion week

View more on instagram

Somali-American model Halima Aden is being hailed as the next big thing in fashion after starring at Milan Fashion Week.

The 19-year-old - who made her runway debut at rapper Kanye West's Yeezy show in New York earlier this month - wore a black hijab and outfit for Alberta Ferretti on Monday and a wool headscarf with a camel coat at the Max Mara show on Thursday.

The official Ferretti Instagram account described her impact as:

Embracing culture and diversity to break norms and change the thinking of modern-day fashion with Halima Aden.”

View more on instagram

The model was born in a refugee camp in Kenya before moving to the US aged six and last year became the first contestant to take part in the Miss Minnesota contest wearing a hijab.

She told the UK Daily Telegraph newspaper:

I never knew that a woman wearing a hijab could be a model; it's so exciting. I never grew up seeing women that looked like me in magazines or on TV and didn't feel like I had a place in the world of fashion. I am honoured to be part of that change.”

She also spoke to the UK Guardian newspaper, saying:

As Muslims, we need more positive stories, period. I felt so proud of the media, because for a very long time they were pushing this negative image of Muslims ... I went in [for the beauty pageant] thinking that I want something positive for young Muslim girls. But I’ve heard stories from parents who are Christians, telling me: ‘Thank you, I want my seven-year-old daughter to know that you don’t have to be half-naked to be beautiful'."

Ms Aden also posted Instagram photos of herself behind the scenes in Milan with top model Gigi Hadid. She also posted a picture of herself with a group of women wearing headscarves under the hashtag #MuslimGirlsCan.

View more on instagram
View more on instagram

Moroccan King on gratitude tour

Alex Duval Smith

BBC News, Abidjan

View more on twitter

The King of Morocco, Mohamed VI, is on a state visit to several West African nations including Guinea and Ivory Coast. 

The visit is due to last until 28 February and is set to include a number of investment announcements. 

M6, as he is known, is touring a number of African countries in a trip which is aimed at thanking countries that supported Morocco's application to join the African Union (AU). 

Morocco has been readmitted as a member after months of intense lobbying.

Morocco left the organisation in 1984, after the AU recognised the independence of Western Sahara, regarded by Morocco as part of its historic territory.

It was the only country in Africa that was not a member of the continental body.

Read more:  Morocco to rejoin African Union despite Western Sahara dispute

Zuma: 'South Africans are not xenophobic'

          Anti-immigrant protesters have been marching through Pretoria
Anti-immigrant protesters have been marching through Pretoria

President Jacob Zuma has insisted that South Africans are not xenophobic following an anti-immigrant demonstration in Pretoria that led to violent clashes.

Speaking to local media, Mr Zuma also implied that there were more immigrants coming to South Africa than to European countries.

He said:

I don’t think you’d have the numbers we have of foreigners and I don’t think we would sit for years and years without any burst out if South Africans were xenophobic… I’m saying the numbers of foreigners in South Africa are far more than the numbers that Europe is fighting about.”

Meanwhile the main opposition party the Democratic Alliance blamed the government’s failure to keep its election promises as the main cause of xenophobia.

In a statement the DA said:

The root cause of this rise in xenophobic violence is the ANC government’s failure to create jobs and to equip our people with the necessary quality education and skills to gain employment.”

Police commissioner Khomotso Phahlane said police would remain on standby this weekend to maintain peace in troubled communities.

Gunshots disrupt Kenyan VP meeting

Kenya's Deputy President William Ruto has been forced to cut short a meeting in Bartabwa in Baringo county in the Rift Valley - which has recently seen an upsurge in violence - after gunshots were heard, the Daily Nation reports: 

View more on twitter

Mr Ruto had earlier given the police a shoot-to-kill order to deal with bandits who have reportedly killed 10 people and forced hundreds to flee their homes  in recent weeks. 

( see earlier reports )

'Our textiles use iconic symbols of Lesotho'

Seshoeshoe, seanamarena and modiyanyeo are all symbols and colours of the Basotho - a group of people whose ancestors have lived in southern Africa since around the 5th Century.

Seshoeshoe is a distinctive fabric, seanamarena is a blanket and modiyanyeo is a straw hat that people have come to associate with Lesotho.

And one pair of graphic designers in Lesotho have recognised the commercial value of using these cultural symbols in fashion and home interiors. 

The BBC's  Africa Business Report  finds out more.

'Our textiles use iconic symbols of Lesotho'

Truck tracking system launched

Patience Atuhaire

BBC Africa, Kampala

A new system to electronically track cargo trucks has been introduced in East Africa with the aim of cutting journey times and costs. 

A device is attached to a vehicle as it leaves the port and the goods are remotely monitored on the road. 

The system was piloted in Uganda and will now be used in Kenya and Rwanda. 

Uganda's commissioner for customs Dicksons Kateshumbwa told the BBC that a journey that used to take over three days would be reduced to one-and-a-half. 

He says in the past truck drivers used to lie about taking breaks or being delayed at borders. 

electronic tracking of cargo
System will monitor trucks throughout the journey
electronic tracking of cargo
A device is attached to the truck as it leaves the port

Egypt hero denies slapping Wadi Degla teammate

El Hadary
Gabriel Bouys

Egypt goalkeeper Essam El Hadary has denied slapping Wadi Degla team-mate Khaled Walid but could be forced out of the club after the incident.

"I did not slap him," El Hadary said. "I grabbed him by the shirt and threw a jersey in his face."

The 44-year-old, who became the oldest player at an Africa Cup of Nations last month, was left out of the Cairo club's 1-0 defeat by Al Ahly on Thursday.

Wadi Degla president Maged Samy has suggested he will transfer El Hadary.

Samy wrote on his Facebook page: "Available for transfer to the MLS (the US Major League Soccer) or Scandinavian leagues - veteran 44-years able to play two more years at top level."

Read the full story here

In pictures: Pretoria violence and looting

South Africans
Groups of South Africans were roaming the streets of Pretoria
South Africans
Some were looking for foreigners to target
Man holds SA ID
A man brandishes his South African identity card after being set upon by a mob
Pakistani man in looted shop
This Pakistani national saw his business looted
South Africans run
Police later detained this group of South Africans
man reacts to teargas
And they used tear gas to disperse both South Africans and foreigners

'At least six dead' in Tripoli clashes

Rana Jawad

BBC North Africa correspondent, Tunis

fighting in Abu Slim

Fierce clashes have broken out in the Libyan capital between rival militias in a sprawling residential district of Abu Slim.  The fighting started last night and continued on Friday.  

Mohamed Al-Sherif, a volunteer with the Libyan Red Crescent in Tripoli, who is based at a field hospital on the outskirts of the district, tells the BBC at least six people have been killed.

Another red Crescent volunteer, Mohamed Al-Badri, who is in charge of an emergency hotline says:

My colleagues have not been able to reach the conflict zone. They came under fire when they tried. We have received calls from civilians who are trapped at home and want to be evacuated and even some who are stuck somewhere hiding under trees to shelter from the indiscriminate shooting and shelling.”

Mr Al Badri also says they have received reports of some civilian deaths and injuries, but he could not specify figures at this time.

Unverified pictures on social media show some apartment blocks and vehicles in flames - they appear to have been hit by mortars.

One resident from a nearby district also said he saw tanks along the highway, moving towards Abu Slim District.

The fighting was reportedly triggered by the abduction of four militiaman by a rival armed group based in that district.

Flooding in southern Mozambique

Jose Tembe

BBC Africa, Maputo

The Mozambican emergency authorities say the Limpopo river has burst its banks in the southern province of Gaza, flooding some areas.

The flooding is reportedly to be the result of the effects of cyclone Dineo in neighbouring Zimbabwe and South Africa, where the river passes through before crossing Mozambique into the Indian Ocean.

Officials said road traffic was impossible in some areas and people and goods were being transported by boat.

Mozambique’s worst floods in living memory occurred in the Limpopo river in the year 2000, when more than 700 peopled were killed.

'Stun grenades going off, rocks flying'

There are reports of renewed clashes between South Africans and immigrants in the Sunnyside district of Pretoria, with rocks being thrown and police firing stun grenades:

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Three dead in clashes near Nairobi

Sammy Maina

BBC Monitoring


Atleast three people have been killed and several others injured after after rival youths clashed in Mto wa Mawe in Machakos County, some 30km from the capital Nairobi, Kenyan media have reported. 

There are conflicting reports on the cause of the fighting, with some social media users blaming the violence on a land dispute and others attributing it to ethnic politics.

The local police boss told the Daily Nation some 92 people have been arrested over the violence after "over 200 youth" armed with crude weapons and who were bussed in from elsewhere stormed the area this morning and started evicting locals, who later reorganised themselves to repel the attack.

The area is considered prime development land and has an upmarket housing estate - Green Park - close to the disputed piece of land. It is situated along the busy Nairobi-Mombasa road link. It is home to the native Kamba community but other communities from outside the area have settled there too.

Some reports said the fighting was between ethnic Kamba and Kikuyu groups.

The Kikuyu are the country's largest ethnic group and majority supported the ruling party in the last election.

Ethiopian raw meat too hot for BBC reporter!

Doctors warn that eating uncooked meat can have health implications, but raw meat is considered a delicious delicacy by many in Ethiopia.

See how the BBC's Emmanuel Igunza enjoys the dish, which is popular to eat on weekends.

Ethiopia's taste for raw meat

South African group lists complaints against foreigners

Details of a petition against foreigners that was handed to South Africa's home affairs ministry includes complaints about taxi operators, Zimbabwean churches, hair saloons and ride-sharing service Uber.

A tweeter shared copies of the petition: 

View more on twitter

Here are some of the detail of the complaints in the memorandum: 

  • Foreigners should be banned from operating taxi motorbikes because the petitioners believe they lack qualifications.  It also calls for Uber to be banned. It says the authorities need to consider public safety: "This is not India or Nigeria where passenger safety is not put first."
  • Zimbabweans, Tanzanians, Nigerians and other African nationals should be stopped from driving cars illegally brought into the country and they should have international drivers' licences. 
  • Foreigners are charging unfair prices in hair saloons, a situation that has destroyed South Africa's hair industry
  • Businesses owned by black South Africans have been destroyed. "We are driven into slavery by black and white South Africans," it says. 
  • Zimbabweans are not respecting the law of the country especially their apostolic churches whose followers worship in the open "dress in white attire, they are destroying our public parks, they poop and urinate... and the parks smell bad". 
  • Programmes should be introduced to educate foreign nationals to speak properly. "They are arrogant and don't know how to speak to people, especially Nigerians." 

Marchers detained at gunpoint in Pretoria

A reporter with South Africa's Times Media Group says she has seen a group of marchers detained by police in Pretoria.

She has posted video of them lying on the ground at gunpoint and then told to get into police vans.

She has also photographed the contents of their bags - which appear to include a number of syringes - as well as wooden weapons.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Ethiopia and South Sudan in famine appeal

Emmanuel Igunza

BBC Africa, Addis Ababa

Ethiopia and South Sudan have jointly appealed for urgent international assistance to help at least 15 million of people facing starvation in the two countries. 

Famine has been declared in parts of South Sudan while Ethiopia is facing yet another drought that has hit several countries in the East and Horn of Africa. 

Speaking in Addis Ababa, Ethiopian Prime Minister Hailemariam Desalegn said countries in the region had agreed to share meagre resources in averting what he said was looming famine. 

For his part, South Sudan’s president said his government would allow safe passage for humanitarian assistance to reach millions that are facing starvation. 

Earlier this week the UN warned that the world needs to act quickly to avert further disaster in the world’s youngest nation.

The two countries also signed several agreements on border security, infrastructure and energy that will see Ethiopia selling electricity to South Sudan while exporting oil from their neighbour. 

'Our children were raped by peacekeepers'

There have been more than 100 allegations of sexual abuse and exploitation by United Nations and French peacekeepers in the Central African Republic.

The BBC's Fergal Keane investigates:

UN and French peacekeepers face child rape allegations

'Shoot-to-kill order' against Kenyan bandits

Kenya's Daily Nation is reporting that Deputy President William Ruto has given a shoot-to-kill order to the police against bandits who have been operating in Baringo county in the Rift Valley region who have killed at least 10 people and forced hundreds flee the area. 

View more on twitter

Yesterday, bandits attacked a government truck ferrying relief food to the area.

See earlier posts for more details

Hashtag hijacked over foreign medical treatment for leaders

The death of a Kenyan politician - Nderitu Gachagua, the Governor of Nyeri, who was 63 - in a hospital in the UK has revived a public debate about whether politicians should seek private medical care. 

It comes as a strike by doctors, which has paralysed medical services in public hospitals, enters its fourth month next week.

The doctors are pushing for the implementation of a comprehensive reform deal signed in 2013 aimed at improving public health care, including increasing their pay, which the government has refused to honour.

Talks are ongoing to resolve the crisis. 

Some social media users have hijacked the hashtag  #RIPGachagua  - which was being used for tributes to Mr Gachagua - to criticise the contrast between medical care given to politicians and that received by ordinary Kenyans. 

Here's a sample of the tweets: 

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

136 arrests amid unrest - police

South Africa's national police chief Khomotso Phahlane says 136 people have been arrested in incidents during operations over the past 24 hours.

Random acts of violence, looting and destruction of property had occurred during the course of this morning, Mr Phahlane said.

It was unclear how many of those in custody were South Africans and how many foreigners.

Mr Phahlane said anyone found to have been inciting violence would be prosecuted.

View more on twitter

However Mr Phahlane defended the decision to allow the Pretoria protest to go ahead, saying the march was allowed under the South African constitution.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Pictures from Pretoria protest

The picture agencies have filed some photos of a group of mainly Somali migrants in Pretoria's Marastabad area who had armed themselves in case they were attacked by South Africans protesting against foreigners.

The group faced off against a group of South Africans but they were prevented from clashing by police, who dispersed them using a low-flying helicopter and rubber bullets.

somali migrants
Somali migrant holds rocks in Marabastad area
Somali migrants gesture at South Africans
Foreigners gesture at South Africans
Police have shot rubber bullets at foreigners
Police have shot rubber bullets at foreigners

Mandela foundation condemns 'hatred' march

The Nelson Mandela Foundation has condemned the march against foreign nationals that took place in the capital, Pretoria this morning. 

View more on twitter

In a statement, it criticised authorities for allowing the protest to take place, calling it a "march of hared":    

We call on all South Africans to take responsibility for embracing the hospitality that defines our democratic order and to work together to find solutions to a problem which is destroying lives and bringing South Africa shame internationally.

The Foundation’s Chief Executive Sello Hatang says that there is a growing level of "othering" in South Africa:  

The measures of who belongs and who doesn’t that we see being thrown around so recklessly are deeply problematic. I myself am beginning to feel ‘othered’, as my father’s family has its roots in Lesotho and my mother’s in Botswana.”

It said that Nelson Mandela rejected xenophobia saying in a speech in 1991 "we are one people": 

During the years I lived here, the people of Alexandra ignored tribal and ethnic distinctions. Instead of being Xhosas, or Sothos, or Zulus, or Shangaans, we were Alexandrans. We were one people, and we undermined the distinctions that the apartheid government tried so hard to impose. It saddens and angers me to see the rising hatred of foreigners.”

Is it all over for African penguins?

Marine biologist Katrin Ludynia from the Southern African Foundation for the Conservation of Coastal Birds explains what's killing African penguins off.  

Marine biologist Katrin Ludynia has the details.

Africa’s only breeding penguins live in colonies on the islands and rocky shores between Namibia and South Africa, where they spend most of the time at sea feeding on small shoaling fish such as anchovies and sardines. African penguins are also called "jackass" penguins because they emit a loud, braying donkey-like call. 

The black and white plumage camouflages them from predators: the white chest and belly helps hide them from aquatic threats below, and the black back protects from aerial predators above.  

Johannesburg mayor condemned over 'incitement'


Civil society organisation Save South Africa says Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba has "a lot to answer for" amid tension and a major police operation to disperse groups of armed South Africans and foreigners in the city of Pretoria.

Mr Mashaba has today said xenophobia has no place in the country - but Save South Africa say his previous comments linking illegal immigrants to crime have "sparked attacks".

The statement says:

Johannesburg’s mayor, Herman Mashaba, has a lot to answer for this morning. His irresponsible statement linking illegal immigrants to criminal activities sparked these latest attacks, which have spread from Rosettenville in Johannesburg, to Pretoria West and now Atteridgeville.

We have not forgotten that he made very similar remarks in December, when he said illegal foreign nationals living in Johannesburg must be treated as criminals since they came to South Africa illegally.

Mashaba must stop this incendiary language, before more damage is done and lives are lost. And South Africans should show tolerance and not be misled by inflammatory comments that bring division, hurt and pain.

See earlier post for more details

Are there really 13m foreigners living in South Africa?

Fact-checking organisation Africa Check have debunked a claim by a South African politician that there are at least 13m foreign nationals living in the country. 

Mario Khumalo, the leader of South African First, a new political party, reportedly made the claim in an interview with Times Live, adding that one-third of Malawians live in the country, City News reports

Africa Check interviewed Mr Kumalo who said he could not substantiate his figures but claimed that the number was an "estimate" and that the government was not revealing the real figure because it is "embarassing and shocking". 

According to South Africa’s  2016 Community Survey  there are an estimated 1.6m foreign nationals in the country. A 2011 survey said 2.2m of people were born outside the country, City News says. 

UN figures also debunk Mr Khumalo’s claim, although their estimate is higher than South Africa’s official estimates. 

It puts the number of international migrants in the country in 2015 at  just above 3m. 

View more on twitter

Shot with rubber bullets

At least two people have been shot with rubber bullets as police attempt to disperse groups of South Africans and immigrants.

One cameraman was shot twice in the back while a student was also reportedly shot in the back as he returned home from school.

Police have used helicopters, water cannon, rubber bullets, stun grenades and tear gas in an attempt to break up rival groups armed with sticks, stones and knives.

View more on twitter

Johannesburg mayor speaks out against xenophobia


Johannesburg's mayor, Herman Mashaba, has condemned xenophobic attacks on social media - despite accusations that his previous comments linking foreigners and crime have helped fuel a climate of hostility.

Mr Mashaba has always denied inciting violence. 

Earlier this month his Twitter account retweeted a post by one resident who said "foreigners don't have respect for South Africa"

BBC reporter Nomsa Maseko's reaction to Mr Mashaba's latest tweets gives a flavour of the surprise they are causing.

View more on twitter

Here is Mr Mashaba's full statement:

I'd like to again reiterate my deep concern for the flare up of xenophobic violence in parts of GP, most recently in Tshwane this morning.

I implore our residents not to take the law into their own hands & respect human rights & the rule of law. #MashabaForChange #Attridgeville

There is no place for xenophobia in Johannesburg and we are working tirelessly to prevent the outbreak of any violence. #MashabaForChange

Through the JMPD, we have taken the following action to deal with the issues surrounding xenophobia and the threat……

Additionally, the City has also put in place long term interventions for addressing the incidence of xenophobia through a Migrant Help Desk.

Social media incitement condemned

Milton Nkosi

BBC Africa, Johannesburg

The South African president has appealed for calm ahead of the march by local residents against immigrants in townships around the capital Pretoria. 

President Jacob Zuma strongly condemned the acts of violence and intimidation directed at African immigrants living in South Africa. In a statement Mr Zuma said he would be championing the fight against crime to promote safer and more stable communities. 

Earlier this week angry mobs looted shops belonging to Somalis, Pakistanis and other migrants in townships around Pretoria and parts of south Johannesburg. Nigerian migrants have denied accusations that they are involved in prostitution rings and drug cartels. 

The president also condemned the incitement of xenophobia on social media platforms. He said “the threats and counter-threats on social media must stop. All must exercise restraint, respect the laws of the land". 

Hundreds flee fighting in Kenya region

Patrick Kihara

BBC Monitoring, Nairobi


Hundreds of people have been forced to flee their homes due to increasing insecurity in the country's Baringo County, about 217km (135 miles) northwest of the capital, Nairobi over the past few days. 

Yesterday bandits attacked a government truck ferrying relief food to the area and two weeks ago a local elected official and a would-be MP were killed when gunmen attacked a bar.

Local leaders have asked President Uhuru Kenyatta to address the attacks which they say have resulted in the deaths of 10 people so far. 

The area is home to two communities, the Pokot and Tugen, who have often clashed violently over pasture and water. 

On 8 February a local official was quoted by the Star Newspaper saying "hundreds" of police officers from the country's elite General Service Unit had been deployed to the region.

Private farms and conservancies in the neighbouring Laikipia county have also been experiencing armed incursions as pastoralists search for food and water for their livestock. 

The county also borders Turkana county where in 2014 Pokot raiders ambushed a police convoy and killed 21 police officers.

Rubber bullets and tear gas in Pretoria

South African police have fired tear gas, water cannon and rubber bullets to disperse hundreds of citizens and non-nationals marching in the capital Pretoria, following looting this week of stores believed to belong to immigrants, the Reuters news agency reports. 

Meanwhile, a group of marchers have arrived at the Home Affairs office and are expected to submit a petition: 

View more on twitter

Anti-immigrant violence has flared sporadically following near-record levels of unemployment, with foreigners being accused of taking jobs from citizens and getting involved in crime, Reuters reports.

In parts of the city many shops are closed and streets are quiet.

View more on twitter

'We are defending our property'

Foreigners in South Africa's capital, Pretoria have stood their ground against a march by residents. 

A video shared on Twitter shows one man saying that they do not want to fight but are "ready to protect our property". 

View more on twitter
View more on twitter

South Africans and foreigners kept apart by police

Police in South Africa's capital Pretoria are in the middle of a standoff between residents and a group of foreigners. 

Residents have been protesting against foreigners after a week of attacks on migrants (see earlier reports)

The two groups are armed with sticks, bricks and knives.

Police have used tactics including a low-flying helicopter to keep the sides apart.

View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter
View more on twitter

Anti-foreigner rally gets under way

A march against foreign nationals in South Africa is currently underway in the capital, Pretoria.  

Tension has been rising in recent days following what residents say is a growing crime wave and drug selling which they blame on foreigners.  

President Jacob Zuma has condemned the attacks against foreigners and called on residents to show restraint (see earlier post) 

Local media have been sharing pictures from the march. 

          LIVE: Tshwane residents march against immigrants #ForeignersMarch #TshwaneUnrest

LIVE: Tshwane residents march against immigrants #ForeignersMarch #TshwaneUnrest

View more on twitter

Zuma appeals for calm ahead of anti-immigrant rally

Vigilante attack on Nigerian in Pretoria
Vigilante mobs have attacked foreigners in Pretoria and Johannesburg

South African protesters have blocked roads with burning tyres in parts of Pretoria ahead of a planned anti-immigrant rally in the city. 

Demonstrators are expected to march to the Department of Home Affairs in a protest against illegal immigration.

President Jacob Zuma has condemned an outbreak of violence against foreigners and called on residents to show restraint. 

He has also announced a crackdown on crime to promote safer communities, which the government says is an urgent priority as foreigners are being blamed by some South Africans for crime.

Mr Zuma said:

Ministers briefed me about recent incidents of violence and destruction of property as well as rumours of impending violence directed at non-nationals circulating on social media.

There are real concerns by South Africans in many areas about serious crime that is destabilising communities. In Nyanga ambulances cannot even enter the township to fetch sick people to take them to hospital. Delivery vans have to be escorted by police when entering the townships. People fear even walking around the townships.

I impressed upon the Ministers that action is needed in Nyanga and other areas. Our people cannot continue to live in fear like this

Vigilante violence against foreigners has taken place in Rosettenville in Johannesburg and Pretoria West and there is tension in other areas, the government says. 

Mr Zuma said many foreign citizens living in South Africa were law-abiding and contributed to the economy.

He said it was wrong to label them as drug dealers and people traffickers.

Dozens of shops and homes owned by immigrants were attacked earlier this week near Pretoria. 

Earthquake strikes Tanzania and Zambia

John Solombi

BBC Africa


An earthquake of magnitude 5.7  on the Richter scale struck  Africa’s deepest and second largest lake Tanganyika, early Friday morning. 

Much of the impact was however felt in the Zambian town of Kapula in the western region, which lies near the borders of Tanzania and the Democratic Republic of Congo.

There are no reports of casualties although eyewitnesses say the quake has caused panic among residents of south western Tanzania.  

In September last year, a powerful earthquake hit north western Tanzania, killing 16 people and causing massive destruction on infrastructure in the region.

A website that monitors seismic activities has shared a visualisation of the affected areas: 

          M5.8 #earthquake felt in #Zambia and #tanzania.…

M5.8 #earthquake felt in #Zambia and #tanzania.…