Xenophobia Crisis In SA: Police Step In As Violence Rocks Mzansi


Police separated a group of foreign nationals marching to Durban’s City Hall on Wednesday from a group of South Africans.

As the foreign nationals illegally marched down Dr Pixley KaSeme [West] Street towards the City Hall, police kept a group of South Africans at bay.

The South Africans were chanting: “They are dogs who must go home.”

When the foreign nationals approached Dorothy Nyembe [Gardiner] Street, police used stun grenades to disperse them.

Earlier police attempted to disperse the group of over 300 foreign nationals who were marching against xenophobia near Curries Fountain with water cannon and teargas.

They were initially due to march before Easter, before police postponed it.

eThekwini metro police spokesperson Superintendent Eugene Msomi said the group had applied for permission to march on Wednesday, and it had been granted.

Foreign nationals attacked

After they had gathered on Wednesday morning, police cancelled the march, citing an imminent threat to the group.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Thulani Zwane confirmed that Chatsworth residents attacked foreign nationals staying in an informal settlement on Tuesday night, forcing them to evacuate.

“The community members also burnt a shack belonging to a foreigner. Chatsworth SAPS members assisted the victims and tried to move them to a place of safety but they refused stating that they are afraid to be deported,” Zwane said.

A 42-year-old man was injured during the attack.

In Sydenham, about 100 residents also attacked foreign nationals at an informal settlement.

“[Police] tried to assist the foreigners who were under attack and the community members began throwing stones at the police,” Zwane said.

“SAPS fired rubber bullets to disperse the unruly crowd. One unidentified foreign national was injured and taken to hospital for medical treatment. The community members were demanding all foreigners to evacuate the informal settlement. The police managed to contain the situation.”