File picture Bongani Mbatha / African News Agency (ANA).
Durban - SECURITY has been beefed up to protect foreign nationals after their lives were threatened during a violent protest which flared in Donnybrook on the KwaZulu-Natal South Coast last week.

Last week a group of former workers allegedly butchered 17 cows owned by farmer Charles Anderson of Emerald Dale Farms and Patula Sawmill. The farm was accused of employing Zimbabweans in favour of locals.

A qualified harvest manager, who has a   diploma   from the College of   Forestry   in Zimbabwe and who asked not to be named, said he returned from hiding after assurance that security has been increased. He said four of the six foreigners who had fled the area when the attacks started had return to the farm.

"We are back on the farm after some assurance from the police to give us protection. A private armed guard vehicle has also been on patrol during the day while at night, a guard patrols our residences. We are on 24-hour protection. I am less worried about safety at the moment," he said. 

The Sunday Tribune reported at the weekend that more than 17 cows were butchered during attacks on the farm. Among the butchered cows, 
only five survived. Two were killed by the attackers, while another 10 had to be put down after suffering extensive injuries. 

The source said the attacks were   xenophobic   because they flared up after   foreigners   in Durban were attacked three weeks ago.  He said his residence petrol bombed by bitter ex-employees who bayed for his blood after they were fired for misconduct. 

Provincial police spokesperson Captain Nqobile Gwala confirmed that six people were taken in for questioning on Saturday but were later released. 

"Police are still investigating malicious damage to property," Gwala said on Wednesday. 

Community leader Silwanaziphi Jama said the situation was calm on the farm. 

“We are happy that there is calm after two weeks of uncertainty and turmoil. But we wish the police could step up it's investigation and arrest the perpetrators who are tarnishing both the image of the village community and traditional leadership," Jama said. 

He said community members concerned by last week's protests and criminal acts have submitted a list of names of suspects to police to investigate. 

The farm owners were not available for comment. 

Sunday Tribune