Posted by News Express | 26 February 2017 | 2,839 times
The unrest seen on the streets of Pretoria and its surrounding townships on Friday has been brought under control, with over 100 people being arrested.
The South Africa’s acting Police Commissioner Khomotso Phahlane said on Saturday that’s the situation may have been exaggerated by some for their own gain.
“At this stage, the situation remains under control,” the top cop said in Pretoria.
Violence had erupted in Pretoria central business district and on the streets of Atteridgeville Township early Friday, forcing the police to lob teargas at the protestors calling themselves the Mamelodi Concerned Residents.
The Mamelodi Concerned Residents had obtained permission from the City of Pretoria to march against the presence of foreigners in South Africa, especially Nigerians, whom they accused of committing crime like drug dealing and promoting prostitution, and taking away jobs from them.
But according to Phahlane the march, despite reports that it was an anti-immigrant march, was not solely against illegal immigrants.
“The march was not solely on the so-called immigrants. The march was, among others, about people that are involved in crime. There were issues raised regarding criminality, issues related to grants, prostitution and the carrying of weapons.” Phahlane said.
He, however, noted with concern that despite pleas from government, random acts of violence, damaged property and looting was been reported during the course of Friday morning.
“Although the group from Mamelodi protested peacefully, a group of people from Atteridgeville blockaded roads, burned tyres and threw stones.” Phahlane said.
This group without authority also marched to the Pretoria CBD and were dispersed after there was confrontation with another group apparently consisting of non-South Africans. Friday’s march followed violence and looting over the past week against foreign owned small business and homes.
Phahlane said law enforcement acted speedily and arrested 136 people over the past 24 hours. However, the Police Commissioner could not confirm how many of those arrested were South African citizens and how many were foreign nationals. (NAN)
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