Durban CBD calm after day of mayhem - As it happened

2015-04-14 19:30

Durban's CBD became the focal point of clashes between police, foreigners and locals, with a car set alight, stun grenades and tear gas canisters being fired.


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Last Updated at 09:13
14 Apr 20:24

Durban's CBD became the focal point on Tuesday of clashes between police, foreigners and locals, with a car set alight, stun grenades and tear gas canisters being fired, and crowds taunting police by banging on the shutters of shops and running away as police approached to investigate.

Police spokesperson Jay Naicker said earlier a group of foreigners were allegedly throwing stones at passing vehicles, people and at the police in the CBD. Five people have died since Friday, starting with two Ethiopians who were petrol bombed in the container they slept in and ran their small business from.

"The police are still monitoring the situation," said Naicker. "We heard that there was a man injured but we cannot confirm at this stage as no case has been opened," said Naicker, when asked to clarify unconfirmed reports on social media that a Pakistani national had been shot, or had been set alight. As commuters headed home late in the afternoon, sirens wailed throughout the seaside city and a pall of smoke rose from the CBD.

A crowd of about 700 people gathered at the end of Monty Naicker Road, where it intersects with Dr Yusuf Dadoo Road. Suddenly there was a commotion with some men seen with knobkerries and rock, and police bringing out their water cannons to control the crowd. Stun grenades were fired, but most people had fled. – News24

14 Apr 20:15

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14 Apr 20:02
According to News24's Jeff Wicks, there are reports that the Nigerians in Umlazi's K-section are under attack, the community wants to burn them.

14 Apr 19:57

14 Apr 19:38

South African authorities will need to do much more if impunity for xenophobic violence and other relating long-standing human rights violations are to be effectively combatted, Amnesty International-South Africa has said on Tuesday.

Widespread attacks against refugees, migrants and their businesses most recently in the Durban area have finally triggered some action from government officials.

In the past two weeks, at least four people have been killed, many others seriously injured, shops looted and over 1 000 people displaced in Durban, KwaZulu-Natal province. “We acknowledge that the police are conducting arrests.

However, the authorities must launch full, transparent and independent investigations, and bring suspected perpetrators to account,” said Sicel’mpilo Shange-Buthane, executive director of Amnesty International-South Africa.

“The prevailing culture of impunity must be stopped.” Amnesty International has repeatedly appealed to the South African government, including in January this year, to develop a systematic plan involving the police and other agencies to prevent and protect refugees from targeted attacks. - Amnesty International-South Africa

14 Apr 19:28

14 Apr 19:22
Reports of significant unrest in Umlazi. Police officers have called for backup after they were stoned by a group of looters in D Section. In Emantandeni, also near Umlazi, reports have emerged of foreign owned shops that have been torched.

14 Apr 19:21
A heavy police presence on West Street where all the unrest was this afternoon. They say for a break-in at a hair salon. - Jeff Wicks, News24

14 Apr 18:44

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The Nelson Mandela and Ahmed Kathrada Foundations strongly condemn the spate of attacks in KwaZulu-Natal against those perceived to be foreigners.

This is the latest manifestation of a phenomenon which has been troubling our democracy for a long time. 

We welcome the intervention by our president and other senior leaders and call on all levels of leadership to address the challenge as a priority. For too long South Africans in leadership positions have either ignored the crisis or stoked the fires of hatred.  

We call on all South Africans to take responsibility for embracing the hospitality that defines our democratic order and to work together to find solutions to a problem which is destroying lives and bringing South Africa shame internationally. 

We urge South Africans in the lead-up to Africa Day (May 25) to pledge to eradicate xenophobia. Only in this way can we truly commemorate the founding date of the Organisation of African Unity – later the African Union. - Nelson Mandela Foundation and Ahmed Kathrada Foundation

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14 Apr 17:58

President Jacob Zuma issued a directive on Tuesday to protect all human life as police had running battles with looters and angry foreign nationals in Durban.

The boom of stun grenades was heard and smoke billowed from the central business district of the popular coastal holiday destination.

The streets were filled with strewn rubbish, and policemen trying to contain the situation.

Sirens wailed as they rushed around trying to stop clashes and protect shops from being looted.

A car was set alight and police ran down streets firing stun grenades. In Joseph Nduli street (Russell), huge crowds of looters threw items out of a shop with police trying to throw the goods back in.

Packets of nappies were lying all over the street outside the shop.In one building over 150 foreign nationals cowered for safety after being rounded on.

A little girl cried, searching for her five-year-old sister, who was later located.

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I met a cop who told of how he was pelted with stones in KwaDabeka. He said he picked them up and threw them back. - Jeff Wicks, News24

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This afternoon a small group of people came into the Durban CBD and were allegedly violent towards foreign nationals....

Posted by EThekwini Municipality on Tuesday, 14 April 2015

14 Apr 16:59

14 Apr 16:57
The stand-off seems to have ended. The cops are leaving now.

14 Apr 16:56

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14 Apr 16:45
Cops are using a loudspeaker to order people to return to their homes.

14 Apr 16:43

14 Apr 16:41
Cops given foreigners ultimatum to disperse in five minutes. Water cannon has been lined up.

14 Apr 16:34

14 Apr 16:34

A directive has been issued by President Jacob Zuma to protect all human life, be they foreign nationals or South Africans who may get involved as casualties, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said on Tuesday.

Gigaba and KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu met with diplomats from Nigeria, Somalia, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Mozambique and Malawi, to discuss the recent spate of attacks on foreign nationals in KwaZulu-Natal.

The South African government also expressed its regret for the attacks and informed the diplomats what steps government has taken to protect foreign nationals, said Gigaba.

14 Apr 16:30

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14 Apr 16:24

South African foreign investment confidence will suffer as a result of the xenophobic attacks in Durban, according to an economist.

Xenophobic attacks on African immigrants has escalated over the past week in the KwaZulu-Natal city, with the country’s security cluster announcing measures to bring the situation under control.

Foreign investors took the stability of a country very seriously, macro-economist Dr Harold Ngalawa told Fin24 on Tuesday.

14 Apr 16:21
People leaning out of windows and people on roof tops in the Albert Park area.

14 Apr 16:20
Water cannon has arrived on scene and foreigners have backed off slightly.

14 Apr 16:19

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Are you in the Durban CBD? Tweet us a picture and your experience @News24.

14 Apr 16:11
Foreign nationals in the Albert Park area on the corner of Park and Maud streets.

14 Apr 16:09

Shots were fired in central Durban on Tuesday afternoon as about 150 foreign nationals hid from looters, but the army denied reports that troops were being sent in.

"I can confirm no, as stated by the police minister at the JCPS cluster media briefing on the same matter. Minister [Nathi] Nkhleko was very emphatic that there was no need for the SANDF there.

The situation is being contained by other stakeholders." said SA National Defence Force spokesperson Siphiwe Dlamini.He was responding to rumours on social networking site Twitter that soldiers were being deployed in the coastal town.

One child was crying in the abandoned building, once a bottle store, in Joseph Ndluli (Russell) street, because she could not find her five-year-old sister, who was later located.

One of the men in the building had to be treated after being hit on the head with a hammer, the blood soaked towel used to staunch the injury before he was treated, discarded near him. - Jenni Evans, News24

14 Apr 16:06
Police speaking to foreigners.

14 Apr 16:05
With mounting tensions, I suspect tonight might get out of control. Police are stretched and violence is widespread. - News24's Jeff Wicks

14 Apr 16:04
Police have approached foreigners asking them to calm down.

14 Apr 16:03

14 Apr 16:02

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