Anti-immigrant violence: Pakistani man arrested in South Africa after firing shots at rioters

By AFP
Published: February 19, 2014
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In this file photo a man tries to save his belongings during anti-immigration clashes east of Johannesburg, South Africa. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

In this file photo a man tries to save his belongings during anti-immigration clashes east of Johannesburg, South Africa. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

CULLINAN: Police said Wednesday they had arrested a Pakistani man accused of opening fire on a crowd of protesters in a South African town east of Pretoria and injuring several people.

Rioting township residents hurled rocks and barricaded roads protesting the murder of a 10-year-old boy allegedly beaten to death with a golf club by a Pakistani shop owner.

“The boy was assaulted by one of the Pakistanis allegedly because he was stealing sweets,” said the police. “He died in hospital yesterday.”

Residents went on the rampage overnight, ransacking around 15 foreign-owned shops, according to police.

“One Pakistani guy was trying to get out of the protest area, and he was firing shots towards the protesters,” police spokesperson Marissa van der Merwe told AFP.

The suspect was arrested.

Both South Africans and Pakistanis had been wounded in the clashes, according to police who did not give specific numbers.

Foreign shop-owners including Pakistanis and Somalis had to flee the area as tensions mounted.

The protesters later turned their anger on police, pelting them with rocks. The officers responded with rubber bullets and tear gas.

A car belonging to a Pakistani national was also set alight.

With poverty rife and unemployment widespread, frustration in South Africa’s run-down neighbourhoods often boils over into anti-immigrant violence.

“We don’t want to see any Pakistani, Indian, Somalian,” said Dineo Mutsipi, a resident of Refilwe township.

“They are killing our kids, they are taking our business. We are sick and tired of them.”

“We promise that if they come back again to our location (township), we are going to kill them as they have killed our kids.”

Somali shop worker Bashir Hajyi, who has lived in South Africa for the past four years, described how his house came under attack overnight.

“There were all stones coming from all over the sides, from the roof, from the windows, from all over,” he told AFP.

“It’s better that they take us back, deport us back to our own countries.”

An explosion of deadly xenophobic attacks across poor South African areas in 2008 killed more than 60 people and displaced thousands into camps.

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Reader Comments (17)

  • optimist
    Feb 19, 2014 - 9:42PM

    Theft is a big problem in Africa but that doesn’t mean you kill the thief. Better not do business in those countries!

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  • ria
    Feb 19, 2014 - 10:37PM

    thanks for giving us bad name dear pakistanis…. u did what u r good at….MOB JUSTICE…Recommend

  • cruiser
    Feb 19, 2014 - 11:20PM

    @ ria sadhvi, recently 36 indians have been arrested in singapore for arson and rioting.

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  • Major Iqbal
    Feb 19, 2014 - 11:45PM

    We can now add South Africa to the long list of countries that don’t want Pakistanis to set foot on their land.

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  • Major Iqbal
    Feb 20, 2014 - 12:13AM

    @ria:

    Pakistanis have been giving a bad name to Pakistanis since the day Pakistan was born.

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  • UK
    Feb 20, 2014 - 12:24AM

    @Major Iqbal:
    You can also include yourself in the list of people who should not comment here.

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  • MK
    Feb 20, 2014 - 12:24AM

    I am not defending the shop keeper for beating a kid for stealing, but crime and Xenophobia in South Africa is a big problem, mobs have attacked Zimbabweans and your countrymen as well.
    Search the word” Blaster (flamethrower)” , that will give you an idea, as to what extent people go to protect their property there.

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  • Adil Uddin
    Feb 20, 2014 - 1:00AM

    @Major Iqbal:

    I know that you are an Indian in disguise.
    Tell me how many countries have closed Pakistani consulates and embassies in their land. Plus as someone mentioned earlier , around 36 Indians were arrested in Singapore quite recently. So please font lecture us.

    @ Topic

    The actions committed against the little boy are indeed tragic. Even though there’s a dangerous law and order situation in South Africa where immigrants always live in fear of getting robbed by the locals

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  • rasgullah
    Feb 20, 2014 - 1:47AM

    @Adil Uddin:
    What about Pakistanis who get arrested world over for extremism?
    Don’t compare a failed state and India.

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  • Major Iqbal
    Feb 20, 2014 - 2:14AM

    @Adil Uddin:

    I’m an Indian…so what’s your point?

    You yourself are an Indian born in Pakistan.

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  • Major Iqbal
    Feb 20, 2014 - 2:15AM

    @UK:

    Truth hurts, eh?

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  • someone
    Feb 20, 2014 - 8:33AM

    Killing a 10 year old boy with a golf club???? What kind of man do such a thing? NO surprise the natives are furious.

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  • Feb 20, 2014 - 9:43AM

    @optimist: It will be better if Pakistanis learn to control and change their jahiliyat. Clubbing another human for stealing sweets is horrific and demonic. Salams

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  • ria
    Feb 20, 2014 - 11:29AM

    @cruiser: saudi arabia has been beheading pakistanis regularly for rape,drug smuggling….bullzzzzzzzzz eye :D

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  • UK
    Feb 20, 2014 - 9:23PM

    @Major Iqbal:

    Most of your comments do not make any sense and are either factually in correct, based on wishful thinking, or are out of context completely. That’s why I made a sincere recommendation to you. This will save you form making a fool of yourself and the country you represent. EH!

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  • Anon
    Feb 21, 2014 - 8:36AM

    Pakistani people migrate to every corner of the world due to lack of jobs and uncertainty. Millions of Pakistani people illegally enter India every year and do odd jobs such as sweeping, washing etc. Half of them end up as beggars. Pakistani politicians must do something for its poor people.

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  • sharabi
    Feb 21, 2014 - 10:44AM

    A single person can not represent any country, i have met few Pakistanis in Delhi which were really nice, calm person & good humans, however some were bad & behaving like Animals in Delhi Metro Blue line.
    so i can not describe all Pakistani are barbaric & bad, please do not generalize.

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