Police have confirmed that one person has died following renewed violence in the Johannesburg CBD.

The Gauteng Police Commissioner Elias Mawela has pleaded with residents of the area to allow government to deal with violence in some areas, in the ongoing attacks in which foreign nationals and their businesses are being targeted with some shops being burnt and looted.

Police have confirmed that some hostel tenants are inciting the violence after disrupting the former Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi’s speech earlier on Sunday.

Mawela has assured members of the public that police will remain in the area.

“They’ve caused a lot of panic. They’ve made normal churchgoers to panic. They’ve made normal commuters to panic. They saw people with spears and shields and so forth… We, as the police, we maintain a strong presence in this area. We are going to make sure that we separate the two groups. What we are appealing to the people here, foreign nationals and the locals, let them stay put, let them leave everything in the hands of government. The government will resolve this problem.”

Police have advised members of the public to stay away from the Jack Mincer Taxi Rank and the Johannesburg CBD. This is after a group of hostel tenants attacked businesses following their disruption of the former Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi‘s speech.

Buthelezi tried to appeal for calm and to call on police to play their role in dealing with the violence.

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


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