JOHANNESBURG – Police are on high alert in Jeppestown on Monday morning after a group of hostel dwellers looted foreign-owned shops.
Authorities say the group took to the streets on Sunday night, threatening foreigners to leave the area.
Last week, violence broke out in the Pretoria CBD during an anti-immigrant march.
The police’s Mathapelo Peters says they are monitoring the area.
“Our Public Order police and tactical response teams, as well as the police station in that cluster have been deployed there already, [they are] investigating and monitoring the situation.”
Peters says, “After our public order policing and TRT teams were deployed to the scene, calm was restored in the area. It is a bit tense but police are closely monitoring the area.”
Meanwhile, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba says South Africans cannot deny human dignity to others and expect theirs to be upheld.
Gigaba pleaded with members of the Lighthouse Chapel Church in Pretoria on Sunday to spread a message of tolerance rather than violence.
He was speaking in Sunnyside just a day after xenophobic violence took place in parts of the capital on Friday.
The minister told a hall filled with church members that although South Africa’s decision to uphold human dignity is a high standard, it is the right one.
“To understand that our humanity is bound up in the humanity of others. We are because others are. We can’t deny the human dignity of others but expect our own human dignity to be upheld.”
He says just as not all immigrants are not criminals, not all South Africans are xenophobic.
“Actually we’re not asking you to do anything you’re not already doing. The vast majority of South Africans are not xenophobic, and the vast majority of immigrants are law abiding, religious people, who strive to do what’s best for their children and families, for their fellow brethren and for their country, both of origin and abroad.”
Police brought the situation in Pretoria back to order in the late hours of Friday night and have kept a close eye on it since.
WATCH: Xenophobic march turns violent in Pretoria