Free State police say an intelligence-driven operation has helped curb sporadic attacks on shops owned by foreign nationals. Several shops remained closed on Tuesday in Thaba-Nchu east of Bloemfontein, after Ethiopian nationals reportedly received a threat for attack on their businesses on Monday.

Free State police spokesperson, Motantshi Makhele says police had anticipated the attacks,

“That’s why (you) find in Thaba-Nchu area what happened there, our forces were already on the ground to make sure that we rescue whatever we can for the foreign nationals, business people… and we had various meetings with them in the area where we anticipate that such attacks might take place. And as a result, we are reaping some positives – we managed before any other incidents can get out of hand that our forces have been on the ground to make sure that we rescue whatever we can rescue. And there were some sporadic incidents, it’s not only in Selosesha area but also in the area of Botshabelo as well as in Bloemfontein, Mangaung area in the phase.”

Foreign nationals at Thaba Nchu in the Free State have appealed to government to protect them from what they say are xenophobic attacks.