South Africa 15.4.2015 10:39 am

Calm returns to Durban, one arrested for looting

FILE PICTURE: Some of the foreign nationals had to pack their stock at the outside the Workshop mall under police guard before people arrive to loot their belongings. Picture: Phumlani Thabethe

FILE PICTURE: Some of the foreign nationals had to pack their stock at the outside the Workshop mall under police guard before people arrive to loot their belongings. Picture: Phumlani Thabethe

One person was arrested in Verulam, north of Durban, after two shops belonging to Somali nationals were looted late on Tuesday night as violence between locals and foreigners continued in the coastal city.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson, Jay Naicker said a group of locals had looted the two shops during a bout of planned electricity load shedding on Tuesday night.

Naicker said a case of business robbery was being investigated and the arrested 31-year-old suspect was expected to appear in the Verulam Magistrate’s Court soon.

Meanwhile, after a stand-off between large groups of foreign nationals and locals in central Durban which resembled a war zone for much of Tuesday, there appeared to be semblance of calm on Wednesday morning.

Despite being attacked, having their shops looted and being left stranded, foreign nationals have remained adamant that they would not be forced out of the city of Durban.

Some of those affected by the growing xenophobic violence sweeping through several areas of Durban had even vowed to resort to guerrilla warfare to defend themselves.

“We will defend ourselves.We will retaliate in full force,” irate shop owner Richard Condonso told the African News Agency on Tuesday.

And despite police reinforcements from around the country being deployed as the tensions mounted, foreign nationals felt officers had disappointed them by not offering enough protection against their attackers.

“We are under attack, people are coming from everywhere. Cops are sitting back and let it go on. Maybe they are tired of us. I suspect they also attack us when not in uniform,” claimed Condonso.

The foreign nationals claim about 15 people have lost their lives during the attacks. They claim five children were burnt to death in Isiphingo, south of Durban, while in another attack in KwaMashu, north of Durban, a group of foreigners were locked inside a house and burnt to death.

A local, who refused to be named, said the foreign nationals deserved what was happening to them.

“We are tired of them. They are criminals. They do house break-ins. Ever since they came into the country, the crime rate has escalated”.

 

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