Tuesday, July 20, 2010

Heavy police presence amid xenophobic clashes

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20 July 2010, 08:32

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By Gill Gifford

Xenophobic clashes broke out in Kya Sands late on Monday night and during the early hours of Tuesday morning as police have moved in and are maintaining a heavy, watchful presence.

"We don't have all the details yet, and I can only confirm that there definitely were some attacks.

"We're still sketchy on exactly how many and we're busy investigating the motives," said Brigadier Govindsamy Mariemuthoo, police spokesman for the province.

"This kind of thing starts up late at night and then quietens down. It seems everything is calm but tense in the area this morning."

Clashes broke out in the informal settlement at about 10.45pm on Monday, possibly sparked by a robbery deep inside the settlement in northern Johannesburg.

At least five people were wounded on Monday night - four of them foreigners and one a South African whose screams that he was not a foreigner were not heeded by the mob who attacked him and left him with a massive gash on the back of his head.

Eyewitness News reporter Alex Eliseev said running battles took place throughout the night until calm eventually prevailed from about 1am.

He said a heavy police presence, a patrolling nyala and an overhead helicopter did much to ensure that there were no more violent outbreaks.

Two injured men were pulled out of the area by paramedics after they sustained deep cuts to their heads. One of them described having been attacked with an axe.

A woman and her partner tried to outrun an angry mob of about 20 South Africans. She fell and was kicked as she lay on the ground before being wrapped in a blanket and carried to safety by her partner. She was taken to hospital for treatment.

The South African man who was injured told how an angry mob had asked him where he was from and then attacked him before he could respond. He was also taken to hospital with a deep head wound.

Mariemuthoo has maintained the consistent police line that the attacks were not necessarily motivated by xenophobia and that a criminal motive was also under investigation.

Local residents were said to be jealous of the success of informal businesses established by foreigners and were believed to be behind much of the looting that had taken place.

The Star

Cops confirm 'tensions' in Joburg township

20 July 2010, 08:13
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Gauteng police could not confirm reports on Tuesday morning that foreigners had been attacked at Kya Sands, north of Johannesburg, saying only there were "tensions" in the township.

"From yesterday [Monday], there was some stand-off with regards to tensions there," said Brigadier Govindsamy Mariemuthoo.

"We have a heavy police presence there," he added.

Several radio stations reported on Tuesday that four people from Zimbabwe and Mozambique and one South African had been attacked in overnight clashes.

A Talk Radio 702 journalist reported seeing two men escorted from the informal settlement with deep cuts to their heads while a woman said she was kicked in the chest.

Another man was bleeding from a wound to the head.

"I was just sitting at my home and a group of people just came and they asked me where I come from and before I could answer they started hitting me," the man told the radio station.

But Mariemuthoo said on Tuesday morning that he was still gathering details of what had exactly happened and ended the phone call when asked if foreigners were injured.

He could only confirm "allegations of looting".

"There were people claiming they were looted and they were asked to open cases."

Mariemuthoo said he would have more information later in the day.

The Zimbabwean government said on Monday it had been forced to set up temporary shelters for Zimbabweans leaving South Africa following threats of attacks on foreign nationals.

A wave of xenophobic mob attacks hit South Africa two years ago. More than 60 people were killed and thousands displaced. - Sapa

The Star

Comments by Sonny

Julius Malema was proved to be the biggest "Agent Provocateur of Violence and Racism" in the recent history of SA!

Have the SA government again been caught sleeping while the squatter camps are burning?

He was caught on camera at Nelson Mandel's birthday celebrations snuggled up on the left hand of the president JZ!

They feast while our country is hurting!!

Mr President, where are you "Wisemen" now!

Nelson Mandela belongs to the poor people of SA not the ANC!

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