Police in Johannesburg on Sunday used stun grenades and rubber bullets to battle protesters armed with knives and sticks seeking to drive African migrants out of the city.
Some of the group attacked properties in the South African city’s central business district, with the tense standoff dragging into Sunday evening, according to the police. At least one person died and five others were injured, though calm had been restored by Monday morning, police spokesman Kay Makhubela said.
“The situation has stabilized and roads have been opened,” he said by phone. “It’s now calm and the CBD is now accessible, but we continue to monitor the situation.
— EWN Reporter (@ewnreporter) September 8, 2019
South Africa has seen a series of xenophobic attacks in which foreign-owned shops were looted and burned after a suspected Nigerian drug dealer allegedly shot and killed a South African taxi driver in Pretoria earlier this month. The anti-foreigner violence marred the lead-up to a World Economic Forum event in Cape Town last week.
The men on Sunday were part of a group that disrupted a speech by Mangosuthu Buthelezi, president emeritus of the opposition Inkatha Freedom Party, according to the police statement. A splinter group then went on a rampage in downtown Johannesburg.