Richards Bay murders ‘were not xenophobic’
Durban - Police have denied that the death of two foreigners in Richards Bay was fuelled by xenophobia, saying it was a criminal matter.
Police spokesperson Captain
Nqobile Gwala said the matter was not xenophobic because the dead men were assaulted for allegedly stabbing a 55-year-old male bus driver.
“It has nothing to do with people’s nationality. It is just a criminal matter that is under investigation,” Gwala said.
Last week, the stabbing of the 55-year-old Richards Bay resident led to people in the community going on a rampage. A group killed two people in retaliation and shops and restaurants belonging to foreigners were damaged and looted.
Steven Kabakilwa, a representative of foreigners in the area, felt the attacks were xenophobic as all the businesses that were attacked were those belonging to Congolese and Burundian nationals.
“Businesses owned by South
Africans were not attacked,” he said.
Kabakilwa said the government did not have any choice but to deny that xenophobia played a role in last week’s incidents.
He said the situation was still tense as many foreigners had not returned to the CBD. Kabakilwa said they were told by local taxi operators to pay R10 000 for the attacks on them to be stopped.
Kabakilwa said what the taxi
drivers were doing was illegal and alleged that those responsible for the assaults were travelling in Toyota Quantum minibus taxis.