PE cops patrol areas after unrest

2013-05-30 17:24

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Johannesburg - Eastern Cape police were patrolling informal settlements in Port Elizabeth on Thursday after two days of unrest.

"Things are starting to normalise and stabilise in the area. We have saturated the area when it comes to patrols," spokesperson Captain Stanley Jarvis said.

The unrest was sparked by the murder of two men and the arrest of community leaders. On Tuesday, police arrested three community leaders from Greenfields and Vastrap for the murder of two men accused of robbing a spaza shop.

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.

"Here and there, there are incidents of people still thinking of looting... [but] this is being addressed by police," he said.

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 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.
Read more on:    port elizabeth  |  xenophobia

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