Final tally of arrests after Thembelihle raid

2015-04-30 14:25
Police officers take part in a raid in Thembelihle. (Maria Pillay, News24)

Police officers take part in a raid in Thembelihle. (Maria Pillay, News24)

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Johannesburg - More than 200 people were arrested during a raid at the Thembelihle informal settlement near Lenasia, south of Johannesburg on Thursday morning.

"The final update on the number of arrests is 212," Lieutenant Kay Makhubela said.

He said the raid, which was conducted by soldiers, police officers, metro police and home affairs officials began in the early hours of the morning and had concluded around 11:00.

Of the total number, 198 were allegedly illegal immigrants.

The others faced numerous charges, including possession of drugs, or were initially wanted for robberies, hijackings or murders.

Makhubela said they would appear in court soon.

‘No xenophobia’

He said earlier there were no reports of xenophobia in the settlement. The raid was conducted because police received information about criminal activities in the area.

Mariam Ntswane, 25, who has lived in Thembelihle for seven years, said she felt sorry for foreign nationals in the township.

"I feel terrible for foreigners because they came for work, and the police take them away. What are they going to do?"

She said she did not feel safe because there was often no electricity.

"When it's dark these guys just come into our houses and take stuff."

‘No jobs’

However, Awelani Khewrana, 23, who is unemployed, said foreigners should return to their home countries.

"There are no jobs in South Africa because only foreigners get jobs.

"They must pay tax. Maybe if they go back we can get jobs and be free," he said.

At least seven people were killed and thousands left displaced after xenophobic violence recently broke out in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng.

In the past week, police and the army also raided the township of Alexandra and hostels in Jeppestown.

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  xenophobia

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