Europe

South Africa urges restraint amid anti-foreigner protests

  • South Africans wave anti-immigration placards during a protest in Pretoria, South Africa, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. Resentment against foreigners has sometimes turned deadly in South Africa amid accusations that they take jobs from locals in a country where unemployment is above 25 percent. Others are blamed for drug-dealing and other crimes. In 2015, anti-immigrant riots in and around the city of Durban killed at least six people. The Nelson Mandela Foundation in a statement criticized authorities for "giving permission for a march of hatred." (AP Photo/Yeshiel Panchia)

    South Africans wave anti-immigration placards during a protest in Pretoria, South Africa, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. Resentment against foreigners has sometimes turned deadly in South Africa amid accusations that they take jobs from locals in a country where unemployment is above 25 percent. Others are blamed for drug-dealing and other crimes. In 2015, anti-immigrant riots in and around the city of Durban killed at least six people. The Nelson Mandela Foundation in a statement criticized authorities for "giving permission for a march of hatred." (AP Photo/Yeshiel Panchia)  (The Associated Press)

  • Police follow a South African protester in Pretoria, South Africa, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 as the latest wave of anti-immigrant protests broke out in the capital. Resentment against foreigners has sometimes turned deadly in South Africa amid accusations that they take jobs from locals in a country where unemployment is above 25 percent. Others are blamed for drug-dealing and other crimes. The Nelson Mandela Foundation in a statement criticized authorities for "giving permission for a march of hatred." (AP Photo/Yeshiel Panchia)

    Police follow a South African protester in Pretoria, South Africa, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017 as the latest wave of anti-immigrant protests broke out in the capital. Resentment against foreigners has sometimes turned deadly in South Africa amid accusations that they take jobs from locals in a country where unemployment is above 25 percent. Others are blamed for drug-dealing and other crimes. The Nelson Mandela Foundation in a statement criticized authorities for "giving permission for a march of hatred." (AP Photo/Yeshiel Panchia)  (The Associated Press)

  • A metro police officer fires rubber bullets at anti-immigrant protesters in Pretoria, South Africa, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. Police fired stun grenades, rubber bullets and water cannon Friday as the latest wave of anti-immigrant protests broke out in South Africa's capital, while President Jacob Zuma condemned anti-foreigner violence and appealed for calm. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)

    A metro police officer fires rubber bullets at anti-immigrant protesters in Pretoria, South Africa, Friday, Feb. 24, 2017. Police fired stun grenades, rubber bullets and water cannon Friday as the latest wave of anti-immigrant protests broke out in South Africa's capital, while President Jacob Zuma condemned anti-foreigner violence and appealed for calm. (AP Photo/Themba Hadebe)  (The Associated Press)

South Africa's president is calling for restraint after reports of violence and intimidation against foreigners.

Resentment against foreigners has sometimes turned deadly amid accusations that they take jobs from locals in a country where unemployment is high. In 2015, anti-immigrant riots in and around the city of Durban killed at least six people. In 2008, similar violence killed about 60 people.

Residents of the capital, Pretoria, were expected to protest Friday against foreigners. In response, President Jacob Zuma's office issued a statement calling on South Africans not to blame all crime on non-South Africans.

"Many citizens of other countries living in South Africa are law abiding and contribute to the economy of the country positively," Zuma said. "It is wrong to brandish all non-nationals as drug dealers or human traffickers."