Peace restored after series of xenophobic attacks in Vredenburg
Cape Town - After a series of attacks on foreign nationals in Vredenburg in Saldanha Bay Municipality, peace is reported to have returned to the area.
SAPS Western Cape spokesperson FC Van Wyk said: “In Vredenburg five cases of public violence were registered for investigation, whereby three of those cases added burglary at business premises.”
Van Wyk said: “Three suspects were arrested and are appearing in the Vredenburg Magistrates Court today(Friday) on the mentioned charges.”
“Saldanha SAPS registered one case of Public Violence, no arrest. No incidents were reported in the last 24-hours, in the Vredenburg- and or Saldanha area,” said Van Wyk.
On Thursday Mayor Marius Koen said in a press release: “All foreign-owned businesses within the area of George Kerridge have been completely looted.”
Detailing the looting Koen said: “One house shop has been burned to the ground, 15 container shops, 23 shops, and one hardware shop have all been vandalised and looted.”
Koen added: “Foreign nationals living in informal settlements like George Kerridge, Tsitsiratsitsi, Better Life, Smartie Town and Ongegund have received direct life threats and an instruction to leave Vredenburg within the next 24-hours.
“Meanwhile, in Middelpos, Saldanha vandalism has occurred and foreign nationals been made subject to life threats.”
The mayor's spokesperson Petra Mei said on Friday: “There have been no more incidents since last night and the Saldanha Bay Municipality has accommodated and provided for three families of displaced foreign nationals from Middelpos in Saldanha since last (Thursday) night.”
Mei said: “As indicated SAPS and the Municipal Law Enforcement has been working around the clock to bring the situation to normal. The leadership of both wards are having meetings with the leaders of the Brother of Africa representing the foreign nationals to identify all affected parties. So the situation is back normal.”
“Mayor Koen was greatly saddened by the whole situation and wants to thank everyone involved for restoring the peace,” said Mei.
ANC Western Cape Convenor Lerumo Kalako said: “Attacking foreign nationals is not government or ANC party policy.”
Kalako said: “We encourage the people to stop vandalising and looting businesses owned by foreign nationals. These are fellow Africans and we are all part of the international community whose hallmarks include the acceptance and assistance of migrants.”
EFF Provincial Chairperson Melikhaya Xego said: “We condemn in the strongest possible terms the looting of shops belonging to Somalians in Saldanha Bay.
“We call on those who perpetuate this Afrophobia to desist from doing so as it undermines the dignity of the African child,” said Xego.
“As EFF Western Cape we are of the view that no African is a foreigner on the African continent and therefore it makes no ideological sense for people in Saldanha to treat our African brothers and sisters as foreigners on the continent of their birth.”@MwangiGithahu