Situation in Kya Sands tense – resident

2010-07-21 19:20

A Zimbabwean resident of Kya Sands fears even his South African friends following the violence in the Johannesburg informal settlement earlier this week.

On Monday night this small community hosted the latest attacks against African foreigners which saw mostly Zimbabweans and Mozambicans being targeted.

The defence force, Johannesburg Metro Police Department and the South African Police Service were quickly deployed.

By midday today there was no sign of a defence force presence but police visibility was high.

Although no new violent attacks had been reported, the situation has been described as tense. Said Steven Mvundla, a 26-year-old gardener from Zimbabwe: “I have South African friends but because of these attacks we don’t talk to each other. It’s tense.”

Mvundla said there was no trust between the South Africans and foreign nationals. “When I am walking and I see some of my South African friends with other people I don’t know, I don’t feel safe.”

For this reason he no longer walks around at night.

Mvundla explained that most of the attacks happened on the other side of the settlement.

Residents who refused to be identified said South Africans mostly lived on one side of the settlement while foreign nationals lived on the other side of the stream that divides it.

“When the attacks happened they (victims) ran to this side and they knew they are safe here,” a resident said.

The police presence was the greatest on the “South African side” – where the attacks are believed to have happened.

A South African tuck-shop owner who refused to be named showed City Press one of the looted tuck shops. “I know I am safe because I am South African and everybody here knows I am South African,” he said.

According to the tuck shop owner a Mozambican’s tuck shop was looted for the second time this week. “He was (first) attacked in 2008. He came back.”


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