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'Masterminds' behind the attacks arrested

By unknown | May 22, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Sibongile Mashaba and Zinhle Mapumulo

Sibongile Mashaba and Zinhle Mapumulo

Gauteng police have arrested the suspected masterminds behind the spate of xenophobic attacks at Primrose informal settlement in Germiston, in what has been hailed as a major breakthrough.

They have also launched a manhunt for people who are alleged to have started the attacks in Alexandra more than a week ago.

Police spokesman Director Govindsamy Mariemuthoo told Sowetan that four men were arrested yesterday at Dukathole informal settlement in Ekurhuleni.

"The four are in police custody but have not been charged yet. They face possible charges of inciting the public, public violence, robbery and murder. We are also looking for people who sparked the attacks in Alexandra," Mariemuthoo said.

The horrific attacks have since spread to other parts of Gauteng and have so far claimed at least 24 lives, while hundreds have been injured and thousands displaced. More than 260 people have been arrested.

Five people were murdered in Primrose, while three lost their lives in Alexandra.

Meanwhile, Madala Hostel in Alexandra has distanced itself from claims that it was the source of the violence in the area after it was alleged that the man believed to have incited the public into attacking foreigners lived at the hostel.

The hostel's indunas told Sowetan yesterday that they were not involved in the attacks and did not attend the meeting held near the hostel on May 11.

Jabulani Mbatha said: "We do not know the man (called Ntuli) who claims to have called the meeting. We know everything that happens in this hostel. If we were involved in the xenophobic attacks, the situation would have been worse than it is."

Mbatha said they too had heard about Ntuli but did not know who he was.


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