Xenophobia tension remains high in Johannesburg

Police spokesperson for South Africa's Gauteng Province said Tuesday, five people were arrested in Johannesburg on Monday night for store breaking and public violence.

The South African police escorted the foreigners out of Jeppestown, east of Johannesburg after they were threatened on Monday night.

The police had to intervene when anti-immigrant residents started looting the shops belonging to foreigners in the area.

Colonel Lungelo Dlamini, police spokesperson for Gauteng Province said, "Police would like to warn members of the public who are committing crimes by looting the shops that no acts of criminality will be tolerated. This follows the arrest of five people at Jeppestown last night on charges of public violence and business breaking. Police had also to use stun grenades and rubber bullets to disperse a group of approximately 200 who had gathered outside George Goch Hostel (east of Johannesburg)."

He said they were throwing stones at the passing cars. Three people were arrested while trying to break into a shop and others ran away. The other two were arrested after another shop was looted.

Dlamini said, some foreign shop owners removed their goods from the shops and were escorted by the police out of Jeppestown.

He said, "Some foreign nationals took goods from their shops and police deployments were in the area (and are still in the area) to make sure that no criminal activity was committed against them. Police have increased deployments in the area to maintain law and order. No incidents have been reported today."

Dlamini encouraged people to report incidences of intimidation, violence and business robbery at their nearest police station.

On Sunday night anti-immigrant residents looted shops belonging to foreigners in the area. They also broke into a creche owned by Charles Ntui from Cameroon. They stole plates, food and pots and television.

The creche had since closed leaving 36 children with no place to play. Over 80 percent of the children who were attending the creche are South Africans, according to Ntui.

Ntui said he is employing South Africans in the creche. Some foreigners in the area have closed shops as tension is still high.



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