SOUTH AFRICA: PRETORIA WEST ON EDGE AFTER ATTACKS ON FOREIGNERS
February 22, 2017 | Uhuruspirit
A Nigerian gathers his belongings after his home was set on fire by xenophobic protesters in Pretoria on 18 February 2017.
A Pretoria community is on edge after experiencing two xenophobic attacks in less than a week.
On Saturday, homes belonging to Nigerian nationals were set alight in Pretoria West, less than 3km from Atteridgeville.
Residents claim they were targeted over allegations of drug trafficking and prostitution.
Just three days later, shops belonging to foreigners, mainly Somalis and Pakistanis, were ransacked allegedly by community members. Three people have since been arrested.
As mop-up operations got under way, one witness said it was customers who turned into looters.
“I saw about 40 people and I heard noise and heard them breaking in. I just stood far [away] to see. Because I live here I didn't want to get involved. I was scared that they would turn against me so I went back to bed and work up to this,” said Tebohgo Mpondo.
There are reports that thirty foreign-owned stores were attacked in the night of Monday 20 to Tuesday 21 February in the community. Shops were looted, others burnt down.
At the weekend, Nigerians were the targets of residents’ anger.
Two houses were set alight, with residents claiming they were being used for drug trafficking and prostitution.
This new wave of attacks began about eleven days ago when residents of Rosetenville in the south of Johannesburg went on a rampage and set several houses which they said were being used by migrants for drug trafficking and prostitution on fire.
Police in Atteridgeville remain on standby and warned community members not to take the law into their own hands.
- with eNCA
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