Residents want army deployed

2010-07-20 12:44

Residents of Kya Sands informal settlement today demanded that the army be deployed to protect them, saying police were not doing enough following overnight attacks apparently on foreigners.

Marcia Mocheka, a resident of the settlement north of Johannesburg, said they feared for their lives and did not think police were doing enough to protect them.

She said: “These people are armed with axes and pangas and they can see the police patrolling. The minute they pass your shack, then the attackers come to kick your door.”

There were drops of blood around Mocheka’s shack.

Gauteng MEC for local government and housing Kgaogelo Lekgoro visited the area on today.

He said the attacks, which led to five people being hospitalised, four of them foreigners, were caused by thuggery and not xenophobic violence.

Lekgoro said: “The attackers are using xenophobic attacks as an excuse because some of the victims say they were told to leave South Africa and go back home.

“It’s just a group of people who I can call ‘thugs’ because at night they break into people’s houses and grab whatever they can get.”

Lekgoro said seven people had been arrested in connection with the attacks.

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