Xenophobic attacks erupt in Benoni

By Drum Digital
16 April 2015

Locals were also threatening truck drivers and demanding that foreigners leave the area.

Xenophobic attacks erupted in Benoni on the East Rand on Thursday, Eyewitness News (EWN) reported.

According to EWN, police fired rubber bullets in an attempt to disperse a crowd throwing bottles and stones at journalists and police in Actonville, just outside the CBD.

On Wednesday, a text message from Actonville councillor Haseenabanu Ismail began doing the rounds.

"Avoid driving in or around hostel & informal (squatter) settlements in Actonville. Area is very volatile now. Please call contacts who normally uses these roads," the text message read.

Another text message was sent to residents on a community alert WhatsApp group on Thursday.

"Please be very vigilant and alert especially Actonville area near hostel and dunswart bridge. Small groups gathering with weapons in their hands. Not sure of their intentions. But as previous msgs was sent out, a possible situation is arising," the message read.

Ismail told News24 that she had been in communication with the city's station commander. He had told her that police had things under control.

Most of the shops in the area were closed on Thursday and shop owners had closed early on Wednesday for their own safety.

Despite reports of rubber bullets being fired, Lieutenant Nomsa Sekele denied having any knowledge of the unrest.

"Our cluster commander just informed me that there is nothing happening there and I have been told to inform the media of this," she said.

By Naledi Shange

Source: News24/Newswire

Pic: Jaca News on twitter

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