Calls for calm after foreigners, police clash in Durban

2015-04-08 14:11
Some of the riot police officers in Durban (Jeff Wicks, News24)

Some of the riot police officers in Durban (Jeff Wicks, News24)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories


WATCH: Durban riot police use water cannon on protesting foreign nationals

2015-04-08 10:33

Riot police used a water cannon, tear gas and stun grenades to force back foreign nationals who defied an order not to march in Durban on Wednesday. WATCH

Durban - KwaZulu-Natal Community Safety MEC Willies Mchunu called for calm as riot police and foreign nationals clashed in the Durban city centre on Wednesday.

Riot police used water cannon, stun grenades and teargas to disperse a group of over 300 foreign nationals who gathered to protest a spate of xenophobic violence in the eThekwini region.

Police had halted a planned march, insisting that they could not guarantee the safety of the protestors.

Despite several clashes with police, a handful of marchers and the leaders made it to the Durban City Hall where they were met by Mchunu, girthed by a squad of riot police.


Speaking to community leaders, Mchunu said dialogue would be key.

“We are ready to listen to all of your concerns and address them and that is important to us. We [the provincial government] need to explain what we are trying to do with the present situation,” he said.

“I have just come from Isipingo and I don’t understand why people are saying that the government is doing nothing,” he added.

Isipingo, south of Durban, has been a flashpoint of xenophobic violence and hundreds of foreign nationals have sought refuge in a local police station.

“We are Africans and so are you. There is no issue with that. The best thing to do now is to diffuse any tensions and ensure that this whole matter is handled in a matter that is safe. We will sit down across a table and talk about the issues. In that meeting we will discuss all the problems,” he said.

Traffic within the city had been adversely affected by the march.

Chatsworth attack

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane confirmed earlier that Chatsworth residents attacked foreign nationals staying in an informal settlement on Tuesday night, forcing them to evacuate.

"The community members also burnt a shack belonging to a foreigner. Chatsworth SAPS members assisted the victims and tried to move them to a place of safety but they refused stating that they are afraid to be deported," Zwane said.

A 42-year-old man was injured during the attack.

In Sydenham, about 100 residents also attacked foreign nationals at an informal settlement.

"[Police] tried to assist the foreigners who were under attack and the community members began throwing stones at the police," Zwane said.

"SAPS fired rubber bullets to disperse the unruly crowd. One unidentified foreign national was injured and taken to hospital for medical treatment. The community members were demanding all foreigners to evacuate the informal settlement. The police managed to contain the situation."

- Were you there? Send us your eyewitness accounts and photos.

Read more on:    willies mchunu  |  durban  |  xenophobia  |  protests

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.