Xenophobic attacks hit Pretoria

The sporadic violence comes as some residents gear up for a planned march on Friday against foreign nationals in the capital city.

No arrests have been made after the xenophobic attacks that gripped parts of Pretoria when about 20 foreign-owned shops were looted on Monday night.

Residents of Atteridgeville suddenly looted shops owned by foreign nationals, which escalated to Lotus Gardens and Mamelodi East.

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Police spokesperson Captain Bonginkosi Msimango said the looting started at about 7pm in Atteridgeville, with looters moving from one shop to the next.

“The situation was very tense. The looting escalated to Lotus Gardens around 9pm, where shops were completely looted. It became very uncontrollable in a short space of time, but we managed to respond and calm the situation,” he told The Citizen.

Public Order Policing unit were monitoring the situation even though many foreign-owned shops were closed on Tuesday in fear of more attacks.

“These are xenophobic attacks. Unfortunately, no arrests have been made, as the shop owners have not come forward to open a case. We urge foreign nationals to contact police immediately should any attacks continue,” Msimango said.

The looting follows an arson attack on two houses by angry residents on Saturday, who accused Nigerian nationals of drug dealing and prostitution in Pretoria West.

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The sporadic violence comes as some residents gear up for a planned march on Friday against foreign nationals in the capital city.

The xenophobic march will be against employment of foreigners ahead of locals, the hijacking of buildings and alleged drug dealing by foreigners.

– rorisangk@citizen.co.za




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