Govt condemns 'xenophobic' attacks

2013-05-28 10:52
(File, AFP)

(File, AFP)

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Riots in Diepsloot after shooting

2013-05-28 10:21

Two Zimbabwean men were shot dead in the Johannesburg township of Diepsloot Sunday. Several foreign-owned shops have been looted since. Watch a video about the tension. WATCH

Johannesburg - Government on Tuesday condemned xenophobic attacks against foreign nationals in certain areas of Gauteng and the Vaal.

"Government has noted with concern so-called xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals... We strongly condemn violence, not only on foreign nationals, but also on South Africans," acting spokesperson Phumla Williams said.

"South Africa is a democratic country that accommodates foreign nationals that are in this country legally."

She said government commended police for the arrest of "about 100 people associated with the recent lawlessness".

Police said on Monday nine people were arrested for public violence and possession of stolen goods after a shop owner shot dead two men in Diepsloot at the weekend.

The Somali man allegedly shot dead the two, believed to be Zimbabwean nationals, outside his shop on Sunday, Lieutenant –Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said.

Circumstances surrounding the shooting were unclear. The man was arrested and charged with murder. He would appear in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Local residents gathered in front of the shop afterwards and threw stones and looted the business. Police dispersed the crowd, but other shops were then looted.

"Live in harmony"

The nine were arrested on Sunday night. They would also appear in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Tuesday.

Last week, more than 90 people were arrested for protest-related crimes in Evaton, Orange Farm, and Sebokeng, south of Johannesburg.

"More than 100 complaints of looting and vandalism of spaza shops belonging to foreign nationals and locals have been reported," Dlamini said on Friday.

Williams called on South Africans and foreign nationals to "live in harmony".

"Criminal activities against each other will not be tolerated, as such acts impact negatively on the country's economy and image," she said.

"Government will... do all in its power to ensure that any form of violence is rooted out, and citizens live without fear of being attacked by criminals."

Read more on:    johannesburg  |  xenophobia

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