Thousands of refugees in and around Johannesburg faced another night filled with anxiety on Tuesday evening as xenophobic tensions and violence continued to spread through the province. The violence has so far claimed 24 lives and left up to 10Â 000 people seeking refuge in shelters across Gauteng.
As the sun set on another bloody day of xenophobic violence in Gauteng on Monday, at least 22 people were reported dead, many more injured and 217 arrested for fierce attacks on both foreigners and local residents living in the greater Johannesburg area. Aid organisations were assisting thousands of refugees at civic centres and police stations.
The headlines of the papers at the newsstand at the Bree Street taxi rank on Monday reflect the deadly xenophobic violence that spread around Johannesburg on the weekend. "Violence flares up," the Sowetan says. "Flames of hate" is the headline of both the Star and the Times.
"Downtown Johannesburg is a wasteland this Sunday. Marshall Street is criss-crossed with makeshift barricades of rusty barbed wire, tyres and chunks of concrete. In Main Street, shops have been literally disembowelled, their heavy-duty Jozi iron shutters wrenched off and their interiors cleaned out." Mail & Guardian reporters Nicole Johnston and Percy Zvomuya venture into the Johannesburg CBD.
As a fresh wave of severe xenophobic violence gripped Johannesburg on Sunday, with five people killed in the Cleveland area, hundreds fleeing to the safety of police stations and shops in the CBD looted, President Thabo Mbeki announced that a panel had been set up to look into the attacks.
Hundreds of frightened foreigners fled to the sanctity of the Jeppe police station in central Johannesburg on Sunday morning following a night of deadly xenophobic violence that claimed at least five lives and left about 50 people injured. The atmosphere at the police station was tense, with helicopters circling overhead.
Extreme xenophobic violence has left thousands of people in Johannesburg homeless, their houses demolished and burned. The Mail & Guardian speaks to a Congolese father who returns to his family home, which was plundered by an angry mob just more than a week ago.
Another foreigner has been killed in South Africa as a wave of xenophobic violence spreads across Johannesburg, bringing the weekend death toll to 13, police said on Monday. The violence against foreigners, who are accused by many South Africans of depriving locals of jobs and committing crime, has spread across townships since the beginning of last week.
One of South Africa's most wanted criminals was caught on Monday after Gauteng police received information from the public about his whereabouts. Police spokesperson Inspector Richard Munyai said Mkhonto Mandla Cele (27) was one of the most wanted and dangerous criminals in Jeppestown and KwaZulu-Natal.