More arrests in Thembelihle raid

2015-04-30 11:29
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 - Some of the approximately 100 people arrested during a raid at the Thebelihle informal settlement near Lenasia, south of Johannesburg on Thursday were wanted for various crimes in the area such as robberies and murders.

Police spokesperson Kay Makhubela said around 70 of them were suspected to be illegal immigrants, who were still being screened by home affairs officials.

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

Some of those arrested were suspected of being involved in house robberies, murders and hijackings in Lenasia.

They were expected to appear in court soon.

Makhubela thanked the community for assisting in the arrests.

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

‘Not safe’

"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."

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.

The raid was expected to continue into the afternoon.

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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