Were: Xenophobic attacks are horrific and traumatic
South African-based Kenyan football star Paul Were says he has been forced to limit his movements in the wake of xenophobic attacks in the country that have claimed at least five lives.
The player also exclusively told Nairobi News on Friday afternoon that the scenes of violence witnessed by residents were not only “horrific and traumatic” but also “unsettling the foreigners” living in South Africa.
The Kenya international is based in Durban, which has been hardest hit by the attacks.
“The scenes are really horrific and stressful to the foreigners living here in South Africa,” the Amazulu forward said.
“This violence has yet to stretch to where I live but I’m not taking any chances. At the moment, I am based at the club house and strictly use the team bus to and from training and matches,” he added.
Hundreds of South Africans have in the past few days unleashed violence against foreigners in the country, with the international media reporting of deaths, injuries and looting and destruction of property as a result.
Pleas by the country’s President Jacob Zuma for an end to the violence have been ignored, with further reports suggesting that the crisis has spread from Durban to the capital Johannesburg.
The attackers are accusing foreigners of grabbing their employment and business opportunities.
The Government of Kenya is one of the half a dozen administrations that have since outlined measures to evacuate its residents from South Africa should this situation persist and Were opines that such a move would ultimately be of help.
Were, who previously played for Tusker and AFC Leopards in the Kenyan Premier League, moved to the top flight South African football league on a three-year deal in mid 2014.
The other Kenyan footballer in South Africa, Brian Mandela, plays for Sanlam Santos in Cape Town.