Xenophobic attacks: Business owners living in fear

There is a heavy police presence in JHB after hostel dwellers planned further attacks on foreigners.

These residents from a hostel in Jeppestown say they want all foreigners gone. Picture: Mia Lindeque/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - As evening falls in downtown Johannesburg and foreign shops remain closed residents and business owners in Jeppestown say they are living in fear due to the rampant crime and regular violence in the area.

There is a heavy police presence after hostel dwellers stoned passing vehicles and injured one motorist ahead of alleged planned attacks on foreigners this evening.

While they refused to speak to Eyewitness News on the record, many say they are tired of the running battles and are almost certain the hostel dwellers will deliver on their threats to attack foreign nationals.

#Jeppestown Tense scene of angry hostel residents ready to stone cars passing by. pic.twitter.com/4nIApMvCwi

At the same time, it's being reported that President Jacob Zuma's son Edward called on government to stop running away from dealing with xenophobia, saying they should "put a stop to unnecessarily accommodating foreign nationals".

WATCH: Xenophobic attacks in Johannesburg's CBD.

It's being reported that Edward, who recently expressed his anti-foreigner sentiments, said he may be the president's son, but his opinions were independent to those of his father's.

He also said the South African Human Rights Commission could arrest him for his comments, but he was sticking with them.

He condemned the recent attacks on foreign nationals but said what was happening was exactly what he was talking about when he said South Africa was sitting on a ticking time bomb.

Earlier on Wednesday, police revealed 74 people were arrested for various crimes ranging from murder to being in possession of dangerous weapons.

#Jeppestown Police deleted EWN reporters pictures of Jeppestown violence.

ML pic.twitter.com/Q6IT9Z2VU3


While opposition parties on Wednesday requested a snap debate on the xenophobic violence, President Jacob Zuma has asked to instead deliver a statement, which opposition parties can then respond to.

The United Democratic Movement (UDM) said a strong message needed to be sent out condemning the attacks.

UDM Leader Bantu Holomisa explained, "We need to send a strong message to the world that we aren't part of this nonsense."


The brother of the 14-year-old boy shot dead during the xenophobic flare up in KZN told Eyewitness News he tried to stop his twin from going out to see the looting.

Thabo Mzobe is the youngest of five people killed.

Mzobe and his twin brother Thabani shared a small room next to their grandmother's shack on the steep hills of Lindelani in KwaMashu.

Thabani said he was heartbroken and couldn't bring himself to sleep in that room anymore. He also said he was already missing the playful fights he and his brother used to have.

The family was adamant Thabo was not part of the looting mob, insisting he was a curious boy who loved school and dreamt of being a famous sportsman.

"On the day he died he heard a loud noise and woke up to go see the crowds. He said 'don't worry I'll be back' and as the security made a noise security started shooting and that's when he got shot."

Two security guards were arrested for the shooting but their company claims they came under attack from those breaking into a shop.

WATCH: Our son wasn't a looter.

Meanwhile, African National Congress Secretary General Gwede Mantashe called on his party's local leaders not to get involved in the riots in the province.

Mantashe has also condemned the attacks but admitted reports of foreigners being arrested for crime has had a negative effect.

"Our responsibility is to educate communities to go beyond anger and appreciate that it is 'unAfrican' to attack a foreigner."

At the same time, Proudly South African joined voices that condemn the violence.


The KwaZulu-Natal Human Rights Commission confirmed it had received a complaint against Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini for allegedly inciting xenophobic attacks that led to violent clashes between foreign nationals and South Africans.

South African National Defence Union organizer, Tim Flack, laid the complaint against the king earlier on Wednesday saying his comments about foreign nationals bordered on telling his followers to remove them from their communities.

Speaking at a gathering last week, Zwelithini asked that all foreigners pack their bags and go back to their own countries.

Flack said if the commission didn't act he would approach the Equality Court.

"If they don't act against him I have an affidavit and I will go to the Equality Court."

LISTEN: UNHCR on xenophobic attacks in KZN.