Amid the ongoing unrest in South Arica in which Indian expats and Indian origin people are being targeted, the Indian embassy in South Africa has said that it was in touch with South African government to ensure safety of the Indian community.
"We are in touch with the South African government and its concerned agencies to ensure safety of lives and livelihood of the Indian community facing uncertainty in South Africa," the Indian Embassy in South Africa said on Friday (16 July).
The Indian embassy further said that External Affairs Minister S Jaishankar has spoken with his South African counterpart Naledi Pandor over the issue.
Pandor has asserted that the early restoration of normalcy and peace was the first priority of the South African government, the embassy said.
The embassy further informed that the High Commission of India in Pretoria, and Consulates in Johannesberg and Durban are in touch with the Indian community leaders and have offered support and assistance for distressed families.
It should be noted that South Africa is witnessing worst episode of riots and violence in years triggered by the imprisonment of former president Jacob Zuma.
Soon after his arrest, Zuma's supporters started a riot in his home province of KwaZulu-Natal. The violence further spread to other provinces like Mpumalanga, Gauteng, and Northern Cape. Major urban centres like Johannesburg and Durban also saw ransacking of warehouses and stores.
Durban, Pietermaritzburg and Johannesburg - the areas affected by the rioting - all have a sizeable population of Indian expats. Reports are pouring in that the businesses owned by Indians and Indian-origin South Africans are being targeted by rioters.
Social media platforms also witnessed a wave of hateful posts against Indians in South Africa. The posts also incited violence against them, asking the rioters to specifically locate Indians and their properties and possessions. The association of Zuma with the Gupta brothers and their role in the corruption cases is being used as an excuse to target Indians.