‘Afrophobia’ Riots Upstage World Economic Forum in South Africa

South Africa promised Thursday to tackle the prejudice fuelling a wave of deadly riots and xenophobic attacks, as international anger over the violence overshadowed a pan-African economic conference in Cape Town.

President Cyril Ramaphosa said at least 10 people had been killed during the past week,2 were foreigners.

Our country has been deeply traumatised …by acts of violence and criminality,” he said in a televised address. “There can be no excuse for attacks on homes and businesses of foreign nationals … (or) xenophobia.”

Mr. Ramaphosa had hoped the 3-day World Economic Forum would serve as a shop window for his efforts to revive South Africa’s ailing economy and boost intra-African trade.

Official data Thursday pointed to lingering economic weakness.

South Africa’s trade balance swung to a deficit in Q-2, while the current account deficit widened.

The economy grew more than forecast in the same fame, but it had contracted sharply in the previous 3 months, and the heads of 2 local financial firms said Thursday that a meaningful recovery was years away.

Stay tuned…