6 arrested following Pretoria West chaos

2017-02-19 13:13
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Rampage in Pretoria West

Another house has been set alight in Pretoria West after the Nigerian nationals renting the place were accused of selling drugs and prostitution.

Pretoria - Six people have been arrested after angry residents raided what they called drug dens and brothels, in Pretoria West on Saturday, police said. 

Captain Agustinah Selepe said two houses were set alight and several homes looted.

Community members also called for "pimps" to release prostitutes and send them back home.

Selepe said one female suspect was arrested for public violence after police opened cases of arson and public violence.

While monitoring and patrolling the area, police arrested a further five suspects in three separate incidents, Selepe said. 

Two were arrested for dealing in drugs, another two for possession of stolen property, and the fifth for possession of a dangerous weapon. 

Houses set alight 

Last week, at least 10 houses suspected to belong to foreign drug lords and brothel owners were set alight in Rosettenville, south of Johannesburg.

On Sunday, the African Diaspora Forum said these issues could be resolved in a peaceful way and that violence was not needed. 

"There are so many migrants here that are making an honest living and that don’t want to be associated with criminal activities," Chairperson Marc Gbaffou said.   

He said that crime had no nationality, adding that people who commit crime should be reported to law enforcement regardless of their nationality. 

"A criminal is a criminal, whether you are born in Ghana, Ivory Coast, Nigeria or South Africa. It is not your nationality that makes you a criminal. 

"We are worried that the way we are heading that people are going to start ignoring the police and start burning houses and killing each other."

Gbaffou has called on all community members to refrain from taking law enforcement into their own hands. 

The Black First Land First (BLF) movement also condemned the violence in Pretoria West. In a statement posted on their website, it said black-on-black violence was spiralling out of control.

"South Africa is a deeply violent society – and we must own up to that, in order to better deal with the reality. The culture of violence has its roots in the violence of colonialism and apartheid – and the oppressed misdirected counter violence in response."

Exposing criminal elements

The BLF said the country needed to deal with the root cause- lack of transformation and the continuation of apartheid economic and property relations in South Africa.

"This situation is exacerbated by the terrible ongoing economic and political crises here and in neighbouring countries. A solution to these crises needs an Africa-wide approach, but it can only take place within a decolonising politics and movement. Until then we are going to be trapped in these cycles of violence," read the statement.

South African National Civics Organisation national spokesperson Jabu Mahlangu called on communities to expose criminal elements that attacked businesses owned by foreign nationals. 

"Xenophobic looters like drug dealers are a menace to society because their shameful actions undermine the successful social integration and peaceful co-existence of foreign nationals in many of our communities," Mahlangu said.

Read more on:    pretoria  |  xenophobia

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