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Shows axed amid South Africa violence

Several artists have cancelled upcoming shows in South Africa, as the looting and violence which has left five foreigners dead continues.

Nigerian musicians Tiwa Savage, Burna Boy and Banky W, as well as comedian Basketmouth, have announced they are boycotting South Africa after a week of rioting that targeted non-South Africans, primarily Nigerians, and foreign-owned businesses.

Burna Boy, who is booked for Afropunk Festival in Johannesburg on new year’s eve, tweeted that he will “not ever go to South Africa again” unless the South African government takes action against the rioters, while Tiwa Savage, who was to perform at Delicious Festival on 21 September, says she won’t “watch the barbaric butchering of my people”.

The Nigerian government has threatened “definitive” action to protect its citizens in South Africa, as tensions rise between Africa’s two largest economies. “The continuing attacks on Nigerian nationals and businesses in South Africa are unacceptable,” it said in a statement, announcing it had also withdrawn its ambassador.

Since the end of Apartheid in 1994, xenophobic violence has been a longstanding feature in the ‘new’ South Africa, according to a recent report by the African Center for Migration and Society, reports the New York Times.

According to the Times, South Africa’s black townships have seen previous outbreaks of xenophobic violence that claimed lives in 2008 and 2015.


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