The Provincial Commissioner of KwaZulu-Natal commended the various State Departments, Non-Governmental Organisations (NGO) and Civil Society for rallying together in an effort to curb the wave of violent attacks sweeping through different parts of KwaZulu-Natal, particularly, the greater Durban area. The National Commissioner of the South African Police Service, General Riah Phiyega, has made available additional resources KwaZulu-Natal to restore peace and stability in the Province as swiftly as possible.

The violence has claimed five lives from the end of March to date, with one of the victims being a 14-year-old youth. Seventy four arrests have been effected thus far for offenses including murder, public violence, business robbery, theft and possession of firearms and ammunition. Lieutenant General Ngobeni has expressed her thanks and appreciation to those members of the public who assisted the police to effect arrests and restore order in volatile situations. She has instructed all detectives investigating the current violence related cases, to work closely with the prosecuting authorities to ensure that the cases are thoroughly investigated and the perpetrators of violence brought to book as this will deter others from engaging in such criminal conduct in the future.

The SAPS makes an earnest appeal to those who are posting false information in the social media, to please desist from doing so. Spreading false information on the number of deaths and attacks, the different areas that are being attacked and hate speech aimed at foreign nationals not only causes undue panic in communities but also have the potential to fuel the violence. The responsible use of social media can contribute greatly in our fight against crime by making people aware of the consequences of engaging in criminal activity, ways to safeguard themselves and their property against criminals and to help police identify and find suspects.

The KwaZulu-Natal Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Mmamonnye Ngobeni condemned the attacks directed towards the foreigners that had spread in Durban South and other areas around Durban. As a result of these attacks, Provincial Commissioner has added more manpower to the affected areas to maintain the situation while negotiations are taking place to resolve the situation. While the police are doing everything to restore peace and stability, the Provincial Commissioner appeals to the community to refrain from attacking each other. “We once again discourage people from taking the law into their own hands and caution that those found to be breaking the law will be prosecuted. They must stop committing criminal activities and report those suspects wanted by the police for crimes that were already reported in the area,” she said.

-SAPS