Three arrested for deadly xeno attack
Johannesburg - Three people have been arrested in connection with the killing of Mozambican national Emmanuel Sithole in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, Gauteng police said on Monday.
“It was an overnight operation, they were arrested on Sunday night. The search for a fourth suspect continues,” said spokesman Lt Gen Lungelo Dlamini.
Exhibits were seized as evidence during the arrest, he said.
Dlaminisaid on Sunday that police had posted a R100 000 reward for anyone with information to come forward.
Sithole, 35, was murdered over the weekend in 2nd Avenue in Alexandra. Pictures printed in the Sunday Times newspaper showed three men attacking Sithole, one of them was shown aiming a knife at Sithole’s upper body.
The pictures caused an uproar on social media and many called for the police to hunt down the attackers.
Sithole was the seventh person to be slain since xenophobic violence flared up two weeks ago.
Police reported no further acts of xenophobia in Gauteng on Sunday, as the country struggled to come to terms with the violence.
Hundreds of foreign residents have been displaced and are now seeking shelter in temporary camps.
On Monday, the country was waiting to hear what Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini had to say when he addressed an imbizo (gathering) in Durban. Zwelithini has been unequivocally blamed for sparking the spate of xenophobic attacks for allegedly calling on all foreigners to pack up and leave.
The violence began in Durban two weeks ago and rapidly spread to Joburg. On Thursday, violence flared up in Jeppestown when hostel dwellers attacked foreign residents and looted their shops.
Alexandra appeared to catch the fever on Friday, with residents going on a looting spree of shops owned by foreigners.
On Sunday, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba said more than 300 people had been arrested over the attacks.
“So far, 307 suspects have been arrested in connection with attacks on foreigners and public violence across the country,” he said.
Sithole’s murder overshadowed a briefing by ministers in the security cluster on their efforts to quell the xenophobic attacks.
His killing also made a mockery of the ministers’ assurances that the government had brought the situation under control.
The resurgence of xenophobia has again shattered the country’s myth of a Rainbow Nation. In the aftermath of the latest wave of attacks, South Africa faced a backlash from some African states.
On Friday, vehicles in Mozambique belonging to South Africans were pelted with stones, while threats of closures have been directed at South African companies in Nigeria.
Protests have also been held at various South African high commissions and embassies across the continent, while several local musicians have been forced to cancel concerts on the continent and abroad.