4 men held for attempted murder after shooting at KwaMashu looters

2017-05-30 21:08
This shop was set alight during xenophobic attacks in KwaMashu on Monday night. (Kaveel SIngh, News24)

This shop was set alight during xenophobic attacks in KwaMashu on Monday night. (Kaveel SIngh, News24)

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Durban - Four security guards have been arrested for allegedly using live ammunition to disperse protesters who looted shops in KwaMashu on Tuesday, KwaZulu-Natal police said.

An 18-year-old girl was wounded during the shooting, Lieutenant-Colonel Thulani Zwane told News24.

Thousands of school pupils took to the streets of KwaMashu on Monday to protest against the abduction of children and the abuse of women. The pupils, from various schools, began protesting around 08:30.

The march followed xenophobic violence in the area on Monday night. Residents had gathered to protest but, according to police, “criminal elements” quickly moved in and started looting shops.

During another march on Tuesday, the looting began again. Around noon, security guards employed to protect foreign-owned shops allegedly fired at the crowd of pupils, injuring the teenager.

Zwane said she was taken to a nearby hospital and later discharged.

The four were subsequently arrested and charged with attempted murder and discharging a firearm in a municipal area, Zwane said. Police suspected they used live ammunition, based on the weapons they had in their possession.

They would appear in the Ntuzuma Magistrate’s Court soon.

Earlier, acting provincial commissioner Major General Bheki Langa told KwaMashu residents to stop reacting to rumours that foreign nationals were abducting their children. They were merely playing into the hands of criminals who were using the residents’ real concerns and fears to enrich themselves through looting.

This followed rumours circulated on social media that foreigners in the area were abducting children.

Langa appealed to people to only circulate information from the police’s official social media accounts or that had been verified with authorities by the mainstream media.

“At this stage we are investigating one case that was reported to police which involves a couple accused of being behind the fake abductions,” he said.

eThekwini mayor Zandile Gumede condemned the attacks on immigrants in the wake of unconfirmed reports of children being abducted from schools.

Read more on:    durban  |  crime  |  protests

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