|18. April 2015
More cops to be deployed to Xenophobic violence hotspots
More than 30 people have been arrested overnight, as attacks on foreign nationals continued in informal settlements and the Johannesburg CBD.
More police officers are being deployed to informal settlements and hostels across Gauteng as well as in Johannesburg’s CBD in the evenings, when most of the xenophobic violence occurs, police said on Saturday. “The attacks happen in the dark, late in the night, so we will increase deployment during those times. During the day it is calm,” Gauteng police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini said.More than 30 had been arrested overnight in Thokoza informal settlement in the East Rand and Cleveland, east of Johannesburg, for public violence, malicious damage to property, house breaking and theft. “Police are still maintaining a strong presence on the ground,” he said.
Johannesburg metro police spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said residents of Alexandra informal settlement, north of Johannesburg, began protesting singing and chanting against foreigners in the area around 21:00 on Friday. Eighth Road was barricaded with burning tyres, he said.
Two foreign owned shops were broken into and looted. There was an attempt to loot a third shop in the area, he said.
“The foreigners had to be taken to Alexandra police station for safety.” They had since left. “One man was arrested inside a liquor store owned by a South African at the corner of Watt Street and Second Avenue, this was pure criminal activity, not related to the other xenophobic attacks,” Minnaar said.
Calm had restored around midnight. Police were still monitoring the area.
KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Jay Naicker said there had been no reports of violence related to xenophobia in the past three days. Protesters in Phoenix, Durban had barricaded the highway in the early hours of Saturday, it was not linked to Xenophobia, Naicker said.
Six people have died this week and thousands have been displaced as hostility between some locals and foreigners escalated in Durban and parts of Johannesburg.