DURBAN – Peace has returned to the KwaZulu Natal Province where two weeks of violence against foreign nationals claimed seven lives. KwaZulu Natal Provincial Police Commissioner for South African Police Service (SAPS), Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni, said calm returned in almost all parts of the province with Durban and Pietermaritzburg, the major cities, experiencing relative stability.
Ngobeni said police patrols were still in place nonetheless.
“Since the long weekend leading to Freedom Day celebrations (Monday), police in KwaZulu-Natal have not had any reports of violence or unrest related to the recent attacks on foreign nationals,” she said.
Ngobeni said the police would continue to monitor the xenophobic hotspots including Pietermaritzburg to ensure peace prevailed in the province.
“Although many foreign nationals are justifiably apprehensive at the moment, they are gradually moving back into the communities where they had lived prior to the violence and their businesses have opened for trade,” she added.
“Some continue to live in the various refugee camps while others have opted to return to their countries of origin. Police are monitoring the refugee camps to ensure the safety of the foreigners and see that they do not come under any attack,” Ngobeni said.
The police Nyalas and Public Order Police (POP) vehicles could still be seen slowly driving around the Durban city centre and other areas in the townships that have been bedevilled by attacks on foreign nationals and associated unrest over recent weeks.
“Our detectives will also work around the clock tracing those who were involved in criminal activities during the unrest,” Lt Gen Ngobeni said.
The situation has improved in recent days since government and some fellow African countries denounced the xenophobic attacks. – CAJ News