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Jeff Wicks, News24
Durban – KwaZulu-Natal police say they will not scale down their deployment of hundreds of officers, despite a decrease in the number of xenophobic attacks on Friday.
Police spokesperson Colonel Jay Naicker described the mood as “calm but tense”.
“Our reports from officers across the city overnight indicates that there were no instances of xenophobia. I would be hesitant to say that the situation has returned to normal and as such we will not be pulling back any of our officers,” he said.
Public Order Policing Units from across South Africa were called in as reinforcements after the groundswell of xenophobic violence had provincial police on the brink of being overrun.
“We have a plan to keep things the way they are for the weekend and in order to effect that plan, we will be bringing all available resources to bear,” Naicker added.
Peace march turns to chaos
The Durban CBD was a chaotic scene of stun grenades, rubber bullets, teargas and walls of police on Thursday afternoon, even though a peace march had just been held to end xenophobic attacks.
While the peace march wound down at the city hall, pockets of protesters gathered in the city’s Dr Pixley KaSeme, Anton Lembede, Joseph Mduli and Monty Naicker streets, with police trying to break them up with teargas, a human chain and a water cannon.
Meanwhile, eyes were starting to turn to Johannesburg, where outbreaks of xenophobia were being reported.
Gauteng police arrested 12 people in Jeppestown overnight for trying to loot foreign-owned shops.
Some tweets concerning the attacks:
— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) April 17, 2015
— The Citizen News (@TheCitizen_News) April 17, 2015
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