Unrest has broken out in the Durban CBD on Monday 8 March after foreign nationals selling goods from several street vendors were targeted by a group of men who set their stalls alight and assaulted them. 

No arrests have yet been made. 

SAPS monitoring volatile scene 

South African Police Service (SAPS) spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naiker said that police units have been deployed to monitor what has become a volatile scene. 

“This morning, a group of unknown men set alight three tables belonging to the street vendors at the corner of Victoria and Albert Street,” he said. 

“Two men were assaulted and were taken to hospital for medical attention,” he added. 

Watch: Durban street vendors assaulted, stores torched

 A case of public violence has been opened for investigation by Durban Central SAPS. Police are at the scene and are monitoring the situation.

Xenophobia ‘will not be tolerated’  

Instances of xenophobia have been played down by police in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN) in recent weeks, saying that reports that violence and looting in the eThekwini Metro are “baseless”, but MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison, Kwazi Mshengu, did condemn any violence against foreign nationals last week. 

”As the Provincial Government we strongly condemn any attacks and intimidation against anyone based on nationality, ethnicity or race because such incidents, which may be perceived as xenophobic violence, have no place in society,” 

“We call for calm and peaceful co-existence in our province. We have directed law enforcement authorities to take over the streets and maintain law and order in eThekwini because we are not in a banana republic. Members of the public are also urged to contact the police and report anyone planning on carrying out attacks on foreign nationals. Police deployments will continue throughout eThekwini but we call on everyone to be responsible and stop circulating false information which causes unnecessary panic,” said Mshengu.

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Presh JM Reporter

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