Police in KwaZulu-Natal said on Tuesday they were still monitoring the situation in volatile KwaMashu and Ntuzuma, north of Durban, following unrest and public disorder in the townships.
Violence broke out on Monday as a result of fake reports of children being abducted in the area. Shops belonging to foreign nationals were looted, while public order police were also allegedly attacked and shots fired at them.
Police said though calm had been restored in the townships, those responsible for orchestrating the violence, looting and damage to property would be brought to book.
KZN acting provincial commissioner Major-General Bheki Langa condemned the violence, saying police would not tolerate criminality.
Langa called on the community of KwaMashu not to play into the hands of criminals who were allegedly using real concerns and fears to enrich themselves through the chaos they created.
“It is very disturbing to find that people continue to circulate fake information on social media, causing unnecessary panic and fear. Unfortunately there are gullible members in our communities that believe everything they find posted on social media platforms by faceless individuals and who refuse to believe authorities,” Langa said.
“Even during the last week we have had reports of abductions and hijackings that were found to be untrue. At this stage, we are investigating a case that was reported to the SAPS where a couple are being accused on social media for being behind these fake abductions.”
Langa urged members of the community to refrain from reposting information they received from unverified sources.
“Fortunately members of our media fraternity always check with the SAPS before they publish information that might cause panic and fear among the community,” Langa said.
“As the SAPS, we will always issue an official statement through the media, as well as on our official social media accounts, if there are any threats or crime trends that need to be brought to the attention of our communities.”