CBDs in Gauteng still tense, but some shops open

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    Bustling with commuters on local and long-distance trips, Park Station was back to normal after the closure of some stores on Monday.

    With at least five people confirmed dead and 289 arrested since the outbreak of the Gauteng xenophobic violence, an uneasy, but tense, atmosphere has gripped Gauteng central business districts, with some South African and foreigner-owned stores remaining closed for business.

    The aftermath of the violence, which has taken its toll on foreigner and locally owned businesses in Johannesburg, Jeppestown, Turffontein, Ekurhuleni, Soweto and Alexandra, has left a trail of destruction, looting, damage to vehicles and deaths.

    It has also angered some African governments, sporting and cultural bodies.

    Kempton Park remained tense yesterday after a mob, believed to be from Tembisa, launched an attack on West Street Nigerian traders. The group was dispersed by police with rubber bullets and teargas.

    While Pick n Pay at Kemp Square – with close proximity to West Street – traded normally, Clicks, Peermed Health Centre, Finbond, Markhams, Truworths, Tekkie Town, Meat Spot and Kempton Place Pharmacy were closed.

    Fearing further violence, all shop owners suspended operations in Wolfe Street. Some shops in Central Avenue opened shutters halfway and others served customers through iron burglar bars.

    Johannesburg was quiet but tense, with some shops closed and some street vendors deserting the normally busy Noord, Pritchard, Jeppe, Bree and Eloff Streets.

    Foreign shop owners could be seen milling around in groups, with their businesses closed.

    Bustling with commuters on local and long-distance trips, Park Station was back to normal after the closure of some stores on Monday.

    Giving an update on the state of the xenophobic violence, Gauteng police spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said: “As the arrest of people involved in violence has risen to 289 since Sunday, police are experiencing a dramatic decline in public violence and looting in areas of Johannesburg and Tshwane.

    “However, police management are concerned about a campaign of fake news on social media highlighting a spectrum of violence that incites and instills fear among the residents of Gauteng.

    “Last night in Ekurhuleni, a total of 100 people were arrested when police responded to several incidents of public violence and looting.

    “Fifty-four of these suspects were surrounded by police in Thokoza and Katlehong while they were inside two businesses stealing furniture and groceries.

    “Others were arrested for public violence in Buhle Park, Germiston and Elsburg.”

    Meanwhile, police are investigating circumstances surrounding two unidentified charred bodies found in a burnt shop in Alexandra.

    Source: The Citizen

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