South Africa

South Africa's president condemns xenophobic riots in Johannesburg

A foreign shop owner checks the damages to his looted shop in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Tueaday.
A foreign shop owner checks the damages to his looted store in Johannesburg, South Africa, on Monday. Photo: Michele Spatari/AFP/Getty Images

South Africa's President Cyril Ramaphosa on Tuesday condemned recent attacks on foreign-owned businesses in the country, after rioters this week looted and destroyed more than 50 shops owned by people from other African countries

Why it matters: The riots occurred days before South Africa is slated to host political and business leaders from across the continent in Cape Town for the 28th World Economic Forum on Africa, beginning Sept. 4. "There can be no justification for any South African to attack people from other countries," Ramaphosa said in a statement.

South Africa's long-ruling party divided ahead of elections

Ramaphosa rallies supporters yesterday in Johannesburg. Photo: Gianluigi Guercia/AFP/Getty Images

South Africa goes to the polls on Wednesday in the first election since the legendarily corrupt Jacob Zuma was forced out of office in February 2018.

Why it matters: Cyril Ramaphosa replaced Zuma both as president and as leader of the African National Congress (ANC) party, which has ruled South Africa since the end of apartheid in 1994. His supporters say he needs a big mandate to make a break from the Zuma era.