Second fatality confirmed in Joburg CBD anti-foreigner protests

Second fatality confirmed in Joburg CBD anti-foreigner protests

A truck destroyed overnight in Johannesburg riots. Picture: Twitter/JMPD

Businesses were once again torched in parts of the CBD where police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets to try to restrain the crowd.

Police in Johannesburg confirmed on Monday morning that there had been a second fatality in the Johannesburg CBD overnight in violence linked to ongoing xenophobic riots that broke out last week.

Johannesburg Metro Police Department chief David Tembe said the second victim was shot in Malvern, while earlier in the evening a first victim had been stabbed in Hillbrow.

Numerous shops and vehicles were once again vandalised and set on fire.

The police, however, did say on Monday morning that the situation had calmed down and all roads into and out of the CBD were open.

Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele had on Sunday confirmed that police had their hands full trying to contain the violence in Jeppestown, Malvern, Cleveland and Hillbrow.

At least 20 people have now been arrested.

In a statement, the police had earlier cautioned church-goers, shoppers and commuters to stay away from the area around the MTN Taxi Rank and Johannesburg CBD following the latest incidents of attacks on businesses.

Police said a joint deployment made up of the SAPS and the JMPD had since Sunday morning been closely monitoring Jeppestown and surrounding areas following notices of a gathering to be addressed by former IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi in Jeppestown.

A crowd of about 1,200 hostel residents gathered at Murray Park and, shortly into the address by Prince Buthelezi, a splinter group disrupted his speech and left before proceedings were concluded.

Incidents of attacks on businesses were then reported in parts of the CBD where police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets to restrain the growing crowd who attempted to move through the CBD via Bree and Twist Streets.

Many shops were closed and suffered damage.

According to Johannesburg Metro Police Department spokesperson Wayne Minnaar, the group marched from the corner of Berg and Jules streets and were said to be on their way to the Jeppestown Police Station. He said the crowds were en route to the station to lodge a grievance that was unknown to metro police.

“They damaged a glass from a container along the way and a bicycle from a cyclist on the way,” Minnaar said.

According to footage shared on Twitter, the crowds were seen singing and chanting with sticks and tree branches.

Other footage showed damaged windows from one of the buildings the people had marched past.

The ANC condemned the latest flare-up of  “violence and lawlessness”, urging law enforcement agencies to “find a permanent solution to these sporadic incidents and ensure that stability and normality are restored”.

“We call on the police to be firm and uncompromising in dealing with criminals who, among other things, deal in drug and human trafficking, regardless of their nationalities or place of origin,” party spokesperson Pule Mabe said in a statement.

“We urge relevant authorities to enforce by-laws and deal decisively against those who trade in counterfeit goods and conduct businesses illegally. The police must act harshly against these crimes, whether committed by South Africans or foreign nationals.”

He said the party “[welcomes] all foreigners who come to the country legally and who respect our laws”.

“Our law-abiding citizens are understandably sick and tired of those who are breaking the moral fibre of our society by turning our kids into prostitutes and drug addicts. We urge all South Africans to give the police space to do their work and to refrain from taking the law into their hands. The ANC fought for peace and security for all and we must never allow criminals or opportunists alike to undermine our collective efforts to ensure peace and stability,” he said.

“Those who are involved in crimes, including attacks on our law-enforcement officers must have no place to hide. The police must continue to enforce the law without fear or favour. We reject insinuations that our police or government is xenophobic when they come [down] hard against these crimes.”

Mabe added that the ANC “continues to condemn acts of xenophobia wherever these may rear their ugly heads”.

(Compiled by Makhosandile Zulu and Charles Cilliers. Additional reporting News24 Wire.)

ALSO READ: WATCH: Crowd walks out on Buthelezi after he calls for end to anti-foreigner attacks

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