The former Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosutho Buthelezi says South Africa is in crisis because of the current violence in which foreign nationals and their businesses are being targeted – with some shops being burnt and looted.

Buthelezi’s statement comes after a rowdy crowd disrupted his speech in Johannesburg, where he attempted to address the tenants of George Koch, Denver and Jeppestown hostels.

Buthelezi tried to appeal for calm and to call on police to play their role in dealing with the violence. He says he’s deeply worried about the current situation.

“As an elder, I feel very, very concerned, especially because I tried to say my message… was to say that we’re family with other African countries, and that therefore, families have differences and so on, but that the main thing is that we need each other – and I reminded them of the history of our people, and of the inter-dependence between countries,” says Buthelezi.

Police have advised members of the public to stay away from the Jack Mincer Taxi Rank and the Johannesburg CBD. This after a group of hostel tenants attacked businesses following their disruption of the former IFP leader’s speech.

Police spokesperson, Mathapelo Peters, says, “Parts of the CBD, police fired stun grenades and rubber bullets to restrain the crowing crowd who have attempted to move through the CBD via corner Bree and Twist streets. Many shops are currently closed while police remain on high alert to ensure minimum damages and criminality. In the meantime, police remain on high alert and on the ground, to ensure the safety of churchgoers and shoppers and commuters who were caught in the mayhem.”

Police have confirmed that one person was killed, at least five injured – and a number of people arrested on Sunday evening.

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