Cops investigate possible Alexandra xeno attack

2015-04-19 10:27
King Goodwill Zwelithini pictured in his traditional attire - designed with specifications for the Zulu king - during the annual umkhosi wokweshwama ceremony. (Siyabonga Masonkutu)

King Goodwill Zwelithini pictured in his traditional attire - designed with specifications for the Zulu king - during the annual umkhosi wokweshwama ceremony. (Siyabonga Masonkutu)

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Johannesburg - Gauteng police on Sunday are investigating whether an attack on a Mozambican national in Alexandra, Johannesburg, over the weekend was linked to the xenophobic violence that has occurred in parts of the country. 

"The information we have is that he was a street vendor who had an argument with a customer, who allegedly stabbed him and he was taken to hospital where he died. At this stage we are speaking to several witnesses and following leads," police spokesperson Lt-Col Lungelo Dlamini said.

"He is a Mozambican national. Whether the matter was an attack on a foreign national forms part of the investigation."

He said it was quiet on Saturday evening and Sunday morning regarding any further xenophobic violence taking place. 

"It was quiet last [Saturday] night and this [Sunday] morning, but deployment is continuing to make sure," Dlamini said.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker said the province experienced another quite night, with no further xenophobic violence reported.

"No, it was another quite night. We are continuing to monitor areas and our units are remaining in place over this weekend," he said.

Limpopo police spokesperson Colonel Ronel Otto said there were no reported incidents of xenophobic violence thus far, though police would continue to remain vigilant and monitor the situation.

A bloody week

Six people died this week and thousands were displaced as hostility between some locals and foreigners escalated in Durban and parts of Johannesburg.

Earliest reports show that the first sparks were at the end of March, when the Daily News reported that crisis talks had started in the province on March 31 after 170 foreigners were displaced, sleeping on police station lawns and in their cars.

This seemed to be as a result of anger over an Umlazi business firing staff and replacing them with foreign nationals.

At the time, Major General Dumezweni Chiliza, the SAPS cluster commander for the area briefed people at a meeting in Isipingo, which included KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu. He has also repeatedly called for calm and arranged a peace march on Thursday to try and stop the violence.

Zwelithini’s comment

On March 20, Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini's comments at a moral regeneration event in Pongola started gaining traction as being one of the causes of hostilities.

According to a translation from Zulu, he wanted foreigners who caused problems, such as crime, to leave the country.

A ''deadline'' for April 1 for this is reported.

The Royal Household Trusts chairperson Judge Jerome Ngwenya, denies the link between xenophobia and the king's comments, saying as far as he knows the violence started at a shopping complex where one foreigner shot another dead.

He also denied the king wanted foreigners to be deported.

On April 1, President Jacob Zuma’s eldest son, Edward Zuma, told News24: "We need to be aware that as a country we are sitting on a ticking time bomb of them [foreigners] taking over the country.

"The reason why I am saying that is because some of the foreigners are working for private security companies where they have been employed for cheap labour. These companies are running away from complying with South African labour laws."

He said he fully agreed with Zwelithini’s sentiments that "foreigners needed to leave the country".

On Wednesday, President Jacob Zuma called for calm in one radio bulletin after the other, and on television.

He was criticised for not dealing with his son Edward's comments, or Zwelithini's remarks.

In Parliament he was lambasted by EFF leader Julius Malema over the xenophobia with Malema saying government policies, landlessness and poverty were the real problems, not xenophobia.

 

Read more on:    jacob zuma  |  goodwill zwelithini  |  johannesburg  |  xenophobia

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