(By Estera Popowska)
About 200 South Africans on Tuesday attacked foreign-owned shops, on Dr Pixley KaSeme Street (West Street), prompting riot police to shut down the area, Times Live reported Wednesday adding that foreigners took up arms to fight back.
According to reports, the fights erupted within an hour of South African Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba assuring diplomats from Nigeria, Somalia, Malawi, Mozambique and Ethiopia that their citizens would be protected.
According to Times Live, South Africa’s ministers of the justice, crime prevention and security cluster tried to assure South Africa that "everything was under control" and that there was no xenophobia but ideological violence.
By Tuesday night, the attacks had reportedly spread further north where two foreign-owned shops were looted during load-shedding in Verulam. According to reports, police spokesman Colonel Jay Naicker said the two shops were looted at 7pm.
"A case of business robbery has been opened. No-one was injured and a 31-year-old suspect was arrested. He will appear in court soon," Naicker said. Meanwhile, police reportedly remained on high alert in the Durban city centre last night.
In the past three weeks thousands of foreigners have been driven from their homes in Isipingo, Chatsworth, Umlazi, KwaMashu and Sydenham, and placed in transit camps in Isipingo and Chatsworth.
The violence broke out after King Goodwill Zwelithini said last month in Pongola that foreigners should leave South Africa. He has denied saying this.
On Tuesday , police warned shop owners on Dr Pixley KaSeme Street to stay in their shops as they used stun grenades, water cannons and rubber bullets to disperse the mob( Source: Times Live)