KZN xenophobia: Looting spreads to Verulam

Durban - Looting spread to Verulam, north of Durban, on Tuesday night, following a day of clashes between locals, foreigners, and police in the city centre, KwaZulu-Natal police said.

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“About 300 local people were looting foreign-owned shops. We have recorded only two arrests for now,” Major Thulani Zwane said.

Other areas appeared to be quiet on Wednesday morning.

“We are actually surprised at how quiet it is [this morning]. We were expecting much more,” said one public order police officer who did not want to be named.

At least five people have been killed in areas around Durban during several days of looting and violence against foreigners. In Durban's CBD on Tuesday, a car was set alight and police fired rubber bullets, stun grenades and teargas canisters in clashes between looters and foreigners.

A 14-year-old boy became the latest fatality on Monday night. He was shot dead during looting in KwaNdlanzi, allegedly by two security guards. They are expected to appear in the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday morning.

Clean-up

In the CBD, municipal workers were sweeping debris from Mahatma Gandhi Road, where foreigners protested on Tuesday. Beggars had returned, businesses were opening, and several police cars were parked on the side of the road. Some shops, however, were still shuttered, but this was likely due to power cuts.

Inkatha Freedom Party eThekwini caucus chairperson Mdu Nkosi said he had not had any feedback out of KwaMashu on violence overnight.

Netcare 911 spokesperson Chris Botha said he had not had any reports of violence.

eThekwini metro police spokesperson Eugene Msomi said the CBD was calm.

“We have deployed our members in all areas where there are foreign-owned shops, particularly in the Point area and St Georges Street.”

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