#Xenophobia: Police & army to 'take back the streets'

Eleven people were arrested and police seized illegal weapons and drugs druing the raid.

Police made several arrests during an overnight raid at a Jeppestown hostel in Johannesburg. Picture: Alex Eliseev/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - National Police Commissioner Riah Phiyega has described the deployment of soldiers to assist in the fight against xenophobic violence as a 'force multiplier', saying it will allow authorities to 'take back the streets'.

The police commissioner was speaking during the early hours of this morning following a dramatic raid at a hostel in Jeppestown.

At least seven people have been killed in the latest flare-up of xenophobia in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Phiyega says soldiers play a crucial role in these operations.

"We will be going from province to province. We will have incessant operations such as this one. We will cordon, we will search, there are a number of crimes we are wanting to look into."

She said it's too early to say how long the police will work with the army.


Shuffling behind a shield last night, their rifles drawn, the police officers from the tactical unit moved through the corridors.

They paused to regroup and then kicked down each door ordering those inside to move out with their hands above their heads.

The men were pushed against walls, told to sit or lie down as the rooms were searched.

It was a show of force, as much as a hunt for dangerous weapons and wanted criminals.

WATCH: Kicking down doors: EWN takes you inside the Jeppestown hostel raid

Soldiers who were deployed to support the police, waited outside, a helicopter hovered above and search lights swept across the hostel.

The police's Kay Makhubela said dagga and stolen goods were seized.

"Eleven people were arrested for these crimes. We will be continuing operations like these around Gauteng.

#Xenophobia PHOTO: Army out in full force in Jeppestown pic.twitter.com/2n2N3SW7OW

#Xenophobia #EWN was inside the hostel as it was raided. Tune in this morning. Video up soon. pic.twitter.com/QK3a2nxxit

#Xenophobia PHOTO hostel residents are frisked and rooms searched. pic.twitter.com/ivW4HWEWWp