More than 1,000 foreigners have told President Jacob Zuma that they want to go back to their countries of origin as soon as possible and have shouted it’s too late as he addressed them in Durban.
The president cancelled his visit to Indonesia in order to attend to the attacks on foreign nationals.
Zuma was due to travel to Indonesia tonight for a state visit and to attend the Africa-Asia summit.
Deputy President Cyril Ramaphosa will replace the president in Indonesia.
Zuma visited the Chatsworth displacement camp where people from Malawi, Somalia, Zimbabwe and Burundi have been staying since violent xenophobic attacks forced them to flee from their homes in the city.
The president was joined by several ministers and inspected the living conditions in the camps before making a short address.
The president told foreigners that he hears their message loud and clear.
“Those of you who want to go home, we will arrange for you to go home.”
But he emphasised that the government does not want them to leave and will ensure safety for those who want to stay.
“As government we are not saying going away and we will stop the violence.”
While many of the people cheered as Zuma said the government would help them get home, they continued protesting after he left.