More police deployed to xenophobic hotspots

2015-04-10 17:22
(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

(Nielen de Klerk, News24)

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Durban - More police have been deployed to hotspots around Durban that have seen flashes of xenophobic violence.

This follows a spate of attacks on foreign nationals and the mass looting of shops that are owned by people from other African states.

Nearly 1 000 people have been displaced, after they fled their homes in fear of an imminent attack from South Africans.

KwaZulu-Natal police commissioner Mmamonnye Ngobeni on Friday condemned the attacks and added more manpower to the affected areas to maintain the situation while negotiations were taking place to resolve the situation.

Ngobeni said that while officers were doing everything to restore peace and stability, she appealed to the community to refrain from attacking each other.

“We once again discourage people from taking the law into their own hands and caution that those found to be breaking the law will be prosecuted. They must stop committing criminal activities and report those suspects wanted by the police for crimes that were already reported in the area,” she said.

Police said a number of criminal cases have been opened at various police stations around Umlazi Cluster and Chatsworth area.

These cases include public violence, business robberies, murders, attempted murder, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm and malicious damage to property.

A total of 17 suspects have been arrested who were linked to different cases of public violence, murder, business robbery and business burglaries.

“In some of these... members of the community assisted the police in arresting the suspects who broke into a furniture shop at Isipingo. That shows that some of our local communities are against these attacks directed towards the foreigners and their properties,” she said.

She cited another incident on Thursday when a South African woman was killed by a stray bullet.

“Four suspects allegedly robbed a supermarket belonging to a foreign national at J Section in Umlazi. During the robbery a 24-year-old woman who was standing nearby was shot and taken to hospital where she later died.

“A foreigner was immediately arrested and will be charged with murder. Last night more shops were looted at sections in Umlazi area and the police stepped in to prevent such criminal activities,” Ngobeni said.

In a different incident a foreign national was arrested for murder and had already appeared in the Chatsworth Magistrate’s Court.

He was remanded in custody until April 14 2015. He was linked to a murder case that was reported at Lusaka informal settlement in the Chatsworth area last week.

Read more on:    police  |  durban  |  crime  |  xenophobia

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