South Africa: Xenophobic Attacks Erupt in SA After Zim Man Shoots Cop Dead

23 January 2020

Xenophobic attacks have erupted in Diepsloot, South Africa after residents stormed a police station Thursday morning demanding officers to hand over a Zimbabwean man accused of killing a cop last week.

Detective Captain Oupa Matjie was fatally shot while in pursuit of suspects in the area. An unidentified Zimbabwean man has been arrested for the officer's murder on 17 January and was due in the Randburg Magistrate's court on Thursday.

According to police spokesperson Brigadier Mathapelo Peters, the residents demanded the Zimbabwean be released and handed over to the community.

When their demands were not met, a protest erupted and they burnt tyres in the middle of main roads and turned on foreign nationals.

Johannesburg Metro Police Department spokesperson Wayne Minnaar said motorists were being diverted away from R511 between N1 and N14.

"There's no access to Diepsloot from William Nicol Drive or the N14. Protesters have placed rocks and burning tyres on R511 and Nkonyama Drive.

"The roads will remain closed because it is not safe to use," Minnaar said.

On social media, users reacted to the violence by calling on the government to enforce tighter border controls.

"A # Zimbabwean national allegedly killed a police officer in Diepsloot, Johannesburg on 17 January. The killing sparked xenophobic violence which is raging still," Human Rights Watch Southern Africa director, Dewa Mavhinga confirmed.

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