Don't spread false info - KZN police

2015-04-15 16:29


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WATCH: Violent attack on foreign national in Johannesburg CBD

2015-04-15 15:26

Jacaranda FM’s journalist captured this violent scene from the Johannesburg CBD earlier on Wednesday. WARNING: GRAPHIC CONTENT.WATCH

Durban - The police have urged people to stop spreading false information as a large contingent of officers contend with a wave of civil unrest linked to xenophobic violence. 

Wide-spread looting and attacks on foreign nationals have spawned several hoax broadcast messages which police say causes undue panic. 

The situation in Durban on Wednesday remained calm, but tense, as many business owners closed shop for the day. 

There was a heavy police presence in the city centre, with officers from across the region pulled in to monitor the situation as the day progressed.

Police spokesperson Jay Naicker made the urgent appeal as hundreds of officers from across the province were deployed to deal with sporadic attacks in Verulam, Pietermaritzburg and central Durban. 

“To those who are posting false information via social media, please desist from doing so. Spreading false information on the number of deaths and attacks, the different areas that are being attacked and hate speech aimed at foreign nationals not only causes undue panic in communities but also have the potential to fuel the violence,” he said. 

“The responsible use of social media can contribute greatly in our fight against crime by making people aware of the consequences of engaging in criminal activity, ways to safeguard themselves and their property against criminals and to help police identify and find suspects,” Naicker added. 

He said that it was impossible to tell whether anyone had been driving an agenda with the hoax messages, or whether it had been spawned out of mass hysteria. 

Last week a video surfaced on a Zimbabwean website showing four men being beaten and set on fire in what they described as a xenophobic attack in Durban. 

News24 verified that the video had actually been shot in Sondela in Rustenburg in March in an apparent case of mob justice. 

A range of messages have been broadcast on Twitter and Whatsapp that inflate the death toll of the attacks on foreign nationals which have spanned over three weeks.

Read more on:    police  |  durban  |  xenophobia

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