'We are distancing ourselves from all that happened' - MKMVA denounce xenophobic attacks in Durban

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Foreign national shop owners were attacked in the Durban CBD on Monday
Foreign national shop owners were attacked in the Durban CBD on Monday
Metro Police
  • The MKMVA in KZN have condemned xenophobic attacks in the Durban CBD on Monday.
  • They say rogue elements could possibly be responsible for the incident.
  • Two men were injured, with police investigating a case of public violence.

The uMkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) in KwaZulu-Natal has distanced itself from xenophobic attacks that ripped through the Durban CBD on Monday.

"We are distancing ourselves from all that has happened. All that happened has not been led by MKMVA KZN. As a structure we are not part of that and not endorsing that," MKMVA provincial chairperson Themba Mavundla told News24 on Tuesday.

He said the military wing of the retired veterans had always maintained its rejection of xenophobia.

Victoria Street in the Durban CBD was the location of violent clashes after a group of around 10 men purporting to be MKMVA members beat foreigners who owned shops and petrol bombed their businesses.

News24 has seen footage of the men violently beating a vendor on Victoria Street while their business and its items were set alight.

Mavundla told News24 that MKMVA member, Dumisani Thango, "is the person to speak to".

"He has a WhatsApp group called Freedom Fighters and you can ask him what has been happening with that. We denounced this whole thing (xenophobia) last year."

ALSO READ | Foreign nationals attacked, shops petrol bombed in Durban CBD

He said they wanted to stop the attacks.

"We are busy planning to correct this once and for all. We don't want them to use MKMVA, if it is them or you media guys, we know they are a WhatsApp group called 'freedom fighters'."

Rouge elements are responsible, not us

Thango told News24 he also denounced the attacks and blamed it on "rogue elements" saying it was not his "freedom fighters".

"There are possible destabilisers who have taken advantage of the situation and claiming to be MKMVA. This is not done in our name. They claim to be former members."

He said tensions could be brimming over because of recent raids.

"There are raids where people are being asked for permits. We are engaging with the street vendors' committee, but some are still being raided by authorities. We do not accept that. They have not done this for ages when all foreign nationals are there. Why now?"

Police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker confirmed police were investigating a case of public violence.

"Two men were assaulted and were taken to hospital for medical attention. A case of public violence has been opened for investigation by Durban Central SAPS."

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