Ghanaian and South African authorities have explained that no Ghanaian has died as a result of the xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals resident in South Africa.
According to them, all five Ghanaians who have been reported dead, died from circumstances which were unrelated to xenophobic attacks.
Ghana High Commissioner to South Africa, Mr Kwesi Ahwoi told Graphiconline on Monday that the four family members reported dead in Heibron, a town in the Free State Province died as a result of inhaling smoke from a generator.
They were said to have left the generator on in the salon, which doubles as their residency.
With regards to the other Ghanaian, Emmanuel Quarcoo who died last week, the South Africa’s High Commissioner to Ghana Ms Lulama Xingwana, told a press conference in Accra on Monday that he died from natural causes.
She said Quarcoo was epileptic and that the postmortem results explained natural causes for his death. Quarcoo died in Durban.
Ms Xingwana further disclosed that four persons, on Friday, threatened to burn down the South African High Commission in Accra. According to her, the four men stormed the High Commission’s premises and tried to force their way in but their effort was thwarted by the security attachment at the Commission.
She indicated that whiles an official complaint has been lodged with the police, it is important to note that the SA Commission in Accra has nationals from both Ghana and South Africa on their staff list and must all be protected.
“…they threatened that they will be coming back to burn the High Commission’s offices…and we have received support from the police to make sure that the premises are safe,” Ms Xingwana revealed.
10 confirmed dead in xenophobic attacks
A total of 10 people have so far been confirmed dead in xenophobic attacks in South Africa whiles over 300 arrests have been made.
Foreign-owned shops in South Africa were last Wednesday attacked and looted in east Johannesburg in the latest string of xenophobic attacks.
The violence continued last Thursday in spite of its condemnation by the South African President, Mr Jacob Zuma.
According to reports, about 200 foreigners sought refuge at a local police station after a crowd began looting foreign-owned shops in East Johannesburg in the night.
South Africa is home to migrants, especially those from other African states and Asia. Many South Africans have accused the migrants of taking over jobs in that country, thereby denying the nationals access to jobs.
Reports said police were forced to fire tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse the looters and arrested 12 people.
Meanwhile the Economic Community of West African States ( ECOWAS ) has condemned “the barbaric, criminal and xenophobic murder” of some African immigrants in South Africa.
In a statement signed by the Chair of the Authority of ECOWAS Heads of State and Government, President John Dramani Mahama, it urged the South African government to act quickly to stop the increasing wave of attacks across its country.
The ECOWAS statement also condemned the individual South Africans involved in the act.
Describing the unprovoked attacks as “a pity,” ECOWAS stated that the fact that the very people whose nations sacrificed to help South Africans fight to defeat apartheid would today be considered aliens and hacked to death in such barbaric manners, left much to be desired.