The North West government today denied media reports that Chinese businessmen have been victims of xenophobic attacks.
“Media reports of alleged xenophobic attacks on Chinese businessmen by residents of Madibogo village in the North West province are an exaggeration of a moderately tense situation,” said acting public safety MEC Magome Masike.
A 22-year-old man was allegedly assaulted last week by two Chinese men in Madibogo village after he was caught stealing from their shop.
Media reports claimed that outraged residents have been threatening businesses operated by Chinese people.
Masike condemned “elements within the community” who spread a rumour that the assaulted man had since died from his injuries.
“According to police a crowd of about 400 residents gathered in Madibogo village planning to protest against the ‘killing’ of the local.
“The crowd dispersed after they got assurance from the police that the local is still alive and is recuperating from a broken leg and other injuries under police guard at Bophelong provincial hospital.”
Masike said charges of theft have been laid against him.
He would appear before court once he was discharged from hospital.
The two men who allegedly assaulted him appeared in court last week on charges of intent to do grievous bodily harm.
“They were released on warning to reappear before court on January 21. Police are patrolling and closely monitoring the area and will do everything possible to safeguard the lives and properties of Chinese businessmen in the village.”