Possible xenophobic attacks in Welkom

2012-02-05 17:22

Welkom - Welkom police arrested 43 people last week following public violence and looting linked to unemployment protests, Free State police said on Sunday.

Of those arrested, 34 were found in possession of stolen property after shops in Thabong were looted four nights in a row, spokesperson Warrant Officer Malebo Khosana said in a statement.

The businesses targeted were mostly owned by Bangladeshis and Khosana said xenophobia could not be ruled out.

"We will do everything in our power to ensure that all those who were involved in these criminal acts are brought to book and our courts will deal with them harshly."

The protests started last Wednesday when youths from Thabong unsuccessfully applied for jobs on Welkom's mines.

Using rocks and branches they barricaded Mothusi Street in Thabong. Nine people were arrested on Wednesday night for public violence. They would remain in custody until their next appearance in the Welkom Magistrate's Court on February 9.

On Thursday night youths again barricaded streets in Thabong using cellphone vending containers, and looted shops. On Friday police arrested four people for possession of stolen property, burglary and public violence. They too had appeared in court and would remain in custody until they appeared in court again on February 10.

On Friday night businesses in Mshenguville and Themba were targeted. Furniture in a house attached to a shop was stolen after the shop was robbed. A tavern was also robbed.

Police arrested 23 people for looting on Saturday morning. On Saturday night a cellphone shop in the Pula Nala shopping complex was robbed. And, on Sunday morning, police arrested a further seven people.

Police said residents "should be ashamed" and protect their interests and the dignity of others.

  • Max - 2012-02-05 17:59

    Interesting that we don't see articles on riots and protests any more. I wonder if this out of sight out of mind strategy is going to work on the long run..

  • Marius - 2012-02-05 18:59

    Blame this on our government and their decision to allow all into our country. Border control is a joke.

      Irene - 2012-02-05 19:18

      So is the ANC government - a joke.

  • Marcell - 2012-02-06 05:04

    At least it is xenophobia and not racism. What will it be when the whites are all gone and it is Zulus against Xhosas, also xenophobia?

  • Abdeslam - 2012-02-06 13:11

    Read: is it not enough?

  • aabushny - 2012-02-10 17:01

    Does being jobless justify the means to settle the score by attacking innocent business men?....this shows how some citizens are impulsively willing to take this Country backward and embarrassing the government..The laws of SA should be reformed to deal with such atrocities....

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