De Doorns quiet after clashes

INFORMAL settlements at De Doorns in Western Cape were quiet yesterday after Tuesday's outbreak of xenophobia, the local police chief said.

INFORMAL settlements at De Doorns in Western Cape were quiet yesterday after Tuesday's outbreak of xenophobia, the local police chief said.

"Police are still in the area monitoring the situation," station commissioner Superintendent Desmond van der Westhuizen said.

Some 2000 foreigners evacuated the settlements on Tuesday after confrontations with local residents.

The locals had prevented foreigners from climbing on to the trucks of farmers collecting seasonal workers. The locals claimed the foreigners - mostly Zimbabweans but including some Lesotho nationals - were accepting lower wages than locals and robbing them of jobs. They also broke down shacks belonging to foreigners.

SABC news reported yesterday that some foreigners started fighting among themselves about whether they should go to work or not.

The police had to break up a fist fight between them, the radio report said.

Breede River municipality Head of disaster management, Previn Govender said the displaced foreigners had spent Tuesday night on a sports field in the town.

One large tent was erected after midnight and two more were to be put up yesterday.

The municipality, with the Red Cross and Salvation Army, had provided food on Tuesday and would continue to do so yesterday.

"For as long as this thing drags on we will try to ensure their basic needs," he said.

Toilet facilities had also been provided and the municipality hoped to make a mobile clinic available.

Attempts would be made to reintegrate the people into settlements they had come from, Govender said. - Sapa

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