Overnight xenophobic violence rocks Joburg

Police have had their hands full in Joburg CBD overnight in the latest flare-up of xenophobic violence.

A police officer passes by a burning car in Jeppestown during xenophobic violence on 16 April 2015. Picture: Thomas Holder/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Police have had their hands full using live ammunition, teargas and rubber bullets in central Johannesburg CBD overnight in the latest flare-up of xenophobic violence.

Officers tried to prevent angry mobs from looting foreign-owned businesses.

#xenophobicattacks live clash with residents pic.twitter.com/OOOorx0kFo

Locals in Jeppestown and Cleveland blocked roads with rocks and burning tyres ordering foreigners to leave the country.

Tempers flared with police resorting to deadly force to disperse angry groups of people.

A number of shops in the CBD were looted and vandalised which forced some foreign business owners to return to their shops to protect them.

Police also raided several local homes including hostels searching for stolen goods and deadly weapons.

#Rioters near the hostels on #Jule Street have burnt out a car. TH #xenophobicattacks pic.twitter.com/SgRg15B002


Foreign nationals in Actonville, Benoni said they're not only fearing for their lives, but also how they will be able to pay their bills as their businesses remain shut as a precautionary measure.

Fear among foreigners spread to the East Rand yesterday following xenophobic attacks in KwaZulu-Natal.

Yesterday, police used tear gas, rubber bullets and stun grenades to disperse locals threatening foreigners, demanding they leave the area.

Foreigners closed their shops yesterday and vowed not to reopen it until there was peace in the neighbourhood.

A Pakistani man who's been staying in the area for 16 years says they don't understand why locals want them to leave when they are employing South Africans.

"For the small money, they don't want to work. All of them are behind the big money. We will never be able to get rent by the end of the month and the landlords won't spare us. Whatever happens with us, they're not worried about anything."


At the same time, a Mozambican national who owns a workshop in Jeppestown in the Johannesburg CBD has told Eyewitness News he doesn't understand why foreigners are being targeted as they have been living in peace with locals for a number of years.

George Albert says some of his cars were stolen from his repair store and set alight in the early hours of this morning.

It's the latest in the flare up of xenophobic violence gripping parts of the country.

Albert says he thought he had a good relationship with the locals in his area.

Albert says he was supposed to move his cars out of the workshop yesterday, but was prevented from doing so due to the ongoing violence.

He says he doesn't know how he will break the news to his customers.

Calm has been restored to the area for now.