All hell breaks loose

Kingdom Mabuza

Kingdom Mabuza

It was a weekend of hell for foreigners in parts of Johannesburg as locals drove them off the streets and out of their flats.

Gauteng Police spokesman Director Govansamy Mariemuthoo said 20 people were arrested for public violence and several injured in the Johannesburg CBD.

"The situation in Johannesburg is under control and police will remain in the CBD until everything is normal," said Mariemuthoo.

The atmosphere was tense and the hardest hit areas were Berea, Hillbrow and parts of Noord and Jeppe streets.

The attackers walked in groups of not more than five people.

The moment the police were out of sight they interrogated pedestrians about their country of origin.

The large number of SAP and Metro police officers sent to hot spots struggled to contain sporadic and random attacks.

More 100 foreigners were kept at Jeppe police station and most claimed they were beaten up by locals since Saturday night.

A Malawian national, Jason Duncan Kaldamanja, said a group of locals started banging at the door of his flat in Marshall Town.

"They were very aggressive, they told me to leave South Africa," Kaldamanja said.

He said he was not allowed to take anything, not even clothes, from his flat and was not allowed to lock it.

"I think the people attacking us are criminals who want to steal from us," he said.

Moi Kabena from the Democratic Republic of Congo said he was deeply hurt that Africans were attacking their own.

"I am not racist but there are Indians and European,s who cross many seas, but they are not attacked," Kabena said.

"South Africans who are not more or less African than we are are chasing us away from Africa."