The Chinese embassy in South Africa has rejected a mainland media report that Chinese businesspeople were being targeted in anti-foreigner attacks, following the death of a Qingdao couple near Johannesburg on Friday. Lou Xiandi , a consular official in Pretoria, said yesterday that eight Chinese had been murdered in South Africa in the past six months, but the death toll 'was relatively low compared with some 20,000 homicide cases in South Africa every year'. 'Official numbers show that 40 South Africans out of every 100,000 are murdered every year,' Mr Lou said. 'We have more than 200,000 Chinese in the country and only 10 victims were reported last year.' The couple from Qingdao were shot by two gunmen in front of their takeaway restaurant in northwest Johannesburg. The two, both 38, had lived in South Africa for eight years, and had three children aged between five months and 11 years. Zhang Jianming , a Zhejiang businessman who has been travelling to South Africa for 16 years, said 95 per cent of Chinese there had been victims of burglary, but very few of them hired bodyguards. 'Many are afraid South African bodyguards will collude with local robbers and hold up their employer,' he said. 'We have been advised to carry firearms, stay in vehicles and avoid remote areas when going out.' Zhou Jianzhong , a director of a Shanghai business association in Johannesburg, said Chinese migrants were targeted as they often carried large amounts of cash. Chinese-language newspapers in Johannesburg said the annual death toll of Chinese businessmen murdered in South Africa had been in double digits in the past five years - a situation the consular officials blamed on a lack of concern by South Africa's government, a lenient justice system and poverty.