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S.Africa issues Britain travel warning

Published on 10/08/2011

The South African government on Wednesday issued a travel warning for its citizens planning trips to Britain which has been hit by its worst riots since the 1980's.

“We are advising South Africans whose travel is non-essential to consider postponing or delaying their trips to that country,” the foreign ministry said in a statement.

Spokesman Clayson Monyela said the South African government was monitoring the situation closely through its High Commission in London.

“The High Commission is readily available to assist any South African national who may require such,” said the statement.

British police have arrested more than 1,100 people across the country for violence, disorder and looting since the riots erupted on Saturday in the north London district of Tottenham after police shot dead a man.

The government has blamed “opportunistic” criminals for the unrest, but the opposition says cuts to social services and a failure to deal with underlying social problems have contributed to the riots.

A South African-owned fast food outlet in Clapham Junction, south London was among the businesses looted and damaged by the rioters.

Owner Odile Ham described the incident as “really frightening” in an interview with South Africa’s Star newspaper.