Cops saturate violent PE areas

2013-05-31 10:00
(Picture: Sapa)

(Picture: Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Police in northern Port Elizabeth on Friday saturated areas where violent protests had taken place, Eastern Cape police said.

"Currently the situation has stabilised. We haven't had a report of any protest-related violence for the past 12 hours, and then also we are still enforcing maximum patrols and visibility," said Captain Stanley Jarvis.

"We are going to saturate the area today [Friday] with police vehicles and police presence."

Police on Thursday patrolled informal settlements in the northern part of the city after two days of unrest.

Confrontation

A Somali man was stabbed to death in Greenfields, Port Elizabeth, on Thursday, the third murder in the area this week.

The man was stabbed in the head, chest, and abdomen, Jarvis said.

It was alleged that a group of people went to the Somali's residence, where a confrontation ensued.

The man was taken to hospital, where he died. The motive for the attack was not yet known and no arrests had been made.

Police said the attack was not linked to the protests.

Jarvis said a case of murder and public violence had been opened.

The unrest was sparked by the murders of two men and the arrests of community leaders.

On Tuesday, police arrested three community leaders from Greenfields and Vastrap for the murders of two men accused of robbing a spaza shop.

12 people arrested

After the arrests, residents blockaded roads with rocks, poles, bushes, bricks, and burning tyres, said Jarvis.

Police used rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse the crowd. Twelve people - five minors and seven adults - were arrested. They appeared in court on Wednesday and were released on a warning.

On Wednesday, violence flared up in Cleary Park and Timothy Valley. Jarvis said this was a spill-over from Greenfields and Vastrap.

Ten people were arrested in Cleary Park for public violence after looting foreign-owned shops. They blockaded roads, burnt tyres, and threw stones at passing vehicles.

Jarvis on Wednesday said the crowd became "very aggressive" and police again used rubber bullets and stun grenades.

Timothy Valley residents also looted shops and barricaded roads. Police helped Somali shop owners pack their goods and escorted them to places of safety. Jarvis said most residents had returned to their homes on Thursday.

Violence in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, started on Sunday when Somali Bishar Isaack, 39, allegedly shot dead two Zimbabweans outside his shop when they tried to rob him.

He was arrested and appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Tuesday. The case was postponed to 4 June, when he was expected to bring a formal bail application.

Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said residents later stoned and looted the shop, and also looted several other shops.

In the Vaal, police received around 100 complaints of looting and vandalism of shops belonging to foreigners and South Africans, following service delivery protests in the area last week.

Scores of people were arrested for the attacks in both areas. Dlamini said Diepsloot was quiet on Thursday following the violence. Police deployed in the area would remain there until satisfied the situation had returned to normal, he said.
- SAPA
Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  xenophobia
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