Joburg protest: Turffontein remains tense as police and looters clash

2019-09-02 17:05

The situation remains tense in Turffontein, Johannesburg, after the police clashed with groups of residents who looted shops owned by foreign nationals in the area.

Traffic was also affected when streets were blockaded after residents took to the streets.

Groups of people broke into shops and looted them, calling for foreign nationals to vacate the area.

Young children also joined in and were seen fleeing shops carrying away various items.

Outnumbered police officers, who were only armed with their service pistols, stood helplessly by as the mob moved from shop to shop.

At about 13:00, more public order officers arrived at the scene and dispersed looters by firing rubber bullets and teargas at them.

Some people were chased down the streets by the police who recovered some of the stolen items.

Inside one shop, looters hid themselves inside the ceiling, fearing arrest.

It took the police a few minutes to negotiate with them to get out of the ceiling before they were taken away in police vans.

A number of people, including women, were also arrested after they were found inside shops they had allegedly broken into.

READ: Protesters loot Joburg shops as cops rally to quell unrest across parts of Gauteng

A woman, who identified herself as Sylvia, said they were only targeting shops owned by foreign nationals.

"We don't want them anymore in our country. They must all go home. They came here to mess up this country.

"They are selling drugs, hijack people's properties and turn them into brothels. They are also trafficking and have turned our girls into their prostitutes. They are criminals and some of them rob us at night inside our houses. They must go back home," said Sylvia.

Mapaseka Mahlaba echoed Sylvia's claims and complained about robberies taking place in Turffontein, allegedly by foreign nationals.

"We are being targeted as women especially in the afternoon when we walk home from work. Foreigners are robbing us. We are no longer safe in this place. If they can go back home, this country will be safe.

"Nigerian nationals sell all sorts of drugs to our children here. They are working with the police because they are never arrested when we complain at Booysens police station," Mahlaba said.

The police have yet to confirm the number of people who were arrested.

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Read more on:    johannesburg  |  crime  |  xenophobia
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