The Democratic Republic of the Congo, Rwanda and Malawi will not participate in the World Economic Forum on Africa in Capetown, South Africa, on September 4-6 in retaliation to the xenophobic attacks.
South African media reported that Presidents Paul Kagame (Rwanda), Felix Tshisekedi (DRC) and Peter Mutharika (Malawi) have all withdrawn from the event.
South Africa’s xenophobic attacks are on their third consecutive day having started on September 2.
The attacks started after a taxi driver was murdered by an alleged drug dealer in Pretoria.
The forum is expected to discuss regional architecture related to smart institutions, investment, integration, industry and innovation.
Zambia has also cancelled an international friendly football match with South Africa’s national team Bafana Bafana that was scheduled to be played in Lusaka.
“This is because of the security concerns, you never know what can happen,” Football Association of Zambia secretary-general Adrian Kashala said.
“We want to be sure of the security of (the) visiting team.”
According to South Africa police, at least five people have been killed, even as President Cyril Ramaphosa vowed to clamp down the attacks.
The African Union, through AU Commission chairperson Moussa Faki, and Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari have condemned the attacks.
Further, President Buhari instructed his foreign affairs minister to summon South Africa’s high commissioner to Nigeria over the violence.
In a video address broadcast on Twitter, Ramaphosa said the attacks on businesses run by “foreign nationals is something totally unacceptable, something that we cannot allow to happen in South Africa.”
“I want it to stop immediately,” Ramaphosa said, adding that the violence had “no justification.”
The Kenya High Commission to South Africa on Thursday confirmed a number of Kenyans have been affected by the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
In a statement, Kenya’s High Commissioner to South Africa Amb. Jean Kamau said that they have reached out to the affected individuals.
She cautioned Kenyans to ensure that they work with their local diaspora leaders to monitor the situation and take measures to safeguard their security.