[DEBATE] : (Fwd) Dbn xenophobia (more)
pbond at mail.ngo.za
Tue Jan 13 07:54:53 GMT 2009
Court sequel to 'foreigner' killings
January 13, 2009 Edition 1
A man alleged to have been involved in the murder of two foreign
nationals in Durban appeared in the Durban Magistrate's Court yesterday.
Sean Thabo Jacobs, 24, of North West province, was arrested on Saturday
night and charged with two counts of murder and one of attempted murder
following the attack on foreign nationals at a building in Maude Mfusi
(St George's) Street on January 5.
Police spokesman Supt Muzi Mngomezulu said at the time a mob of armed
people had marched to a building where foreign nationals stayed.
"Twenty people, who we presume to be South Africans, were seen wielding
bushknives and other weapons and entering a building called Africa
House. There they forced three foreign nationals to jump from the windows."
One of the foreigners, Zimbabwean Victor Zowa, 24, died on impact. The
second victim, Tanzanian national Said Omar, 22, died in hospital. The
third man, Zimbabwean Eugene Madondo, 25, is recovering in hospital.
In court yesterday, slightly built Jacobs, dressed in a cream and white
T-shirt and blue trousers, appeared anxious. He kept his head down
throughout the proceedings and made furtive glances towards the public
Jacobs told the court he intended to apply for bail.
Prosecutor S Majola told the court the case had been extensively reported.
"The state is opposed to bail. His release could jeopardise the
administration of justice. This case has been extensively reported in
the media as it is a xenophobic-related incident."
Magistrate Thobeka Nom-vungu adjourned the case to February 2 for a
formal bail application. Jacobs was re- manded to the Durban central
kamini.padayachee at inl.co.za
Police say vigilante attacks not xenophobic
January 13, 2009 Edition 1
NTOKOZO MFUSI & WENDY JASSON DA COSTA
KWAZULU-NATAL police say last week's attacks on foreign nationals in
Albert Park in Durban were not xenophobic but aimed at fighting crime.
The attacks led to the deaths of two foreigners. Another man is in a
critical condition in hospital.
A vigilante mob carrying bushknives, sticks and other weapons entered
Africa House, a shelter mostly for foreigners, and forced them to jump
from the sixth floor of the building.
The police's director of communications, Phindile Radebe, said there
were inaccuracies in the media's reports, and the intention of the
attacks had been to confront "individuals responsible for criminal
activities in the area".
She criticised the media, saying: "The media in general has deliberately
portrayed these incidents as acts of xenophobia despite the fact that
all indications were that the group were targeting criminals living in
the said building, which is inhabited by both South Africans and
The media had failed to report that the day before the attacks, the mob
had allegedly confronted a South African in the building who was said to
have stolen a cellphone.
"It is clear that the group's activities were not motivated by
xenophobia but rather by vigilantism," she said.
In mentioning the alleged assault on the South African man, she was
referring to the case concerning Albert Park councillor Vusi Khoza, who
was arrested last week and now faces charges of assault and robbery.
She cautioned journalists against statements made in the media by those
involved in the case, saying these people's statements had differed from
those they had given to the police.
She said she was concerned that this would have a bearing in court, and
therefore journalists should first check the facts with the police
before publishing them.
"We want to appeal to those sectors of the media that are hell-bent on
persisting with the notion that these incidents are xenophobic, to
refrain from doing so."
Although the police insist that the attacks were more vigilantism than
anything else, human rights organisations and some of the victims have
said there is an element of xenophobia to them because, they say, the
mob specifically said they were looking for "amakwerekwere", a
derogatory term for foreigners.
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