Police have arrested 42 suspects since the recent spate of xenophobic attacks in Tshwane, Gauteng Provincial Police Commissioner, Lieutenant General Deliwe de Lange said on Thursday.
Of the 42 arrested, 27 were undocumented foreign nationals. One person was arrested for carrying an illegal firearm, while another 14 were arrested for possession of drugs or dealing in drugs.
“Police have noted the criminality and will act harshly against anyone found to have been involved in organised criminal acts such as inciting violence, business robberies, looting, arson, public violence, possession of or dealing in drugs, and prostitution.”
De Lange urged both South African and foreign nationals, to refrain from deliberately inciting the public to commit acts of violence and from taking the law into their own hands.
“Police have already arrested a number of suspects for crimes ranging from business robbery to possession of illegal firearms in Soshanguve, Mabopane, Garankuwa and Rietgat.”
She said police will continue to monitor the areas closely and no effort will be, “spared in ensuring that the criminals are brought to book.”
She said Rosetenville residents had instrumental in the arrests providing police with information.
The police launched a hotline number to report on police corruption and complacency on Tuesday.
“Since its launch, information received has led to the successful arrest of 42 suspects, 27 undocumented foreign nationals, 1 for possession of unlicensed firearm, and 14 for possession of or dealing with drugs,” she added
On Saturday, residents of Pretoria West raided homes they alleged were being used as brothels and drug dens. They called for “pimps” to release prostitutes and send them back home. Two houses were set alight.
On February 11, at least 10 houses allegedly being used for drug dealing and prostitution were set alight in Rosettenville, Johannesburg.