JOHANNESBURG - Law enforcement officials have started gathering in Marabastad where anti-immigrant protesters are expected to gather.
A group led by the ‘Mamelodi Concerned Residents’ is expected to march to the Home Affairs Department to hand over a memorandum.
The police have vowed that no criminality will be tolerated.
About 150 officers including SAPS and Tshwane Metro Police are standing parade while being briefed by their commanders.
Police officers from Alexandra, Tembisa and even Hillbrow have been deployed to monitor the anti-immigrant march.
Protesters are expected to start gathering from about 10 o'clock this morning.
The location is about 200 metres from the home affairs refugee reception centre which is usually surrounded by hundreds of immigrants waiting to get their papers.
Today there is no one in sight.
While the police have vowed to ensure the march is conducted peacefully, the violence in Atteridgeville this morning suggests they may have their hands full.
RESIDENTS CONCERNED ABOUT POLICE VISIBILITY
Atteridgeville residents have however, raised concerns of poor police visibility in the area as tense scenes unfold.
A woman says protesters are throwing stones at passing motorists in the area.
“I am hiding but the situation seems intense. Tyres are burning, people are throwing stones and bottles at cars and other people.”
At the same time, Metrorail has suspended its services between Pretoria and Saulsville station as a precautionary measure amid the violence.
Management has urged commuters to make alternative transport arrangements until further notice.
Metrorail says it received reliable information, warning that its trains could be targeted by protesters.
Spokesperson Lillian Mofokeng says, “The safety of commuters, employees and us is a priority. We will assess the situation and only resume services when it is safe to do so.”