Durban peace march ends in mayhem – As it happened

Thousands of people have taken part in a peace march through the streets of Durban following xenophobic attacks in KwaZulu-Natal. Get all the details here

The Durban CBD was a chaotic scene of stun grenades, rubber bullets, tear gas, and walls of police on Thursday afternoon, even though a peace march had just been held to end xenophobic attacks.

People sneezed and their eyes burned as police formed human chains in the streets with their commander shouting ''hold the line, hold the line'' as they cleared about 500 agitated people from the immediate area.

While the peace march wound down at the city hall, pockets of protesters grew in the city's Dr Pixley KaSeme, Anton Lembede, Joseph Mduli and Monty Naicker streets, with police trying to break them up with tear gas, a human chain and a water cannon.

They ignored boos from the crowd and at one point, helped a lone motorist get away from the fray. A woman wailed as water cannon on a large police truck pushed people away from shops in the CBD, most of which were closed.

Famous retail brands formed the background to police chasing a group through a taxi rank in Anton Lembede Street, and a Burundian national, Moses Sefumama, had to be rescued from a crowd by metro police. People outside Shoprite sneezed as the wind blew the tear gas down Dr Pixley KaSeme street.

In places mounted metro police towered over people, forcing them to move.

In contrast, KwaZulu-Natal Premier Senzo Mchunu said outside the city hall at the peace march, "Today is a very important day, not only in KwaZulu-Natal, but in South Africa. Today we made our stand known throughout the continent and the world." – Giordano Stolley, Jeff Wicks, Amanda Khoza and Jenni Evans, News24

As xenophobic violence flares up in Johannesburg, Somalia and Malawi are alleged to be making plans to pull their citizens out of South Africa.

Violent attacks started a few weeks ago in KwaZulu-Natal, apparently after a speech made by King Goodwill Zwelithini.

Shops owned by foreigners were looted and immigrants moved to refugee camps to escape the attacks.

On Wednesday foreign nationals in Johannesburg said that they had received messages telling them to close their shops because a mob was on its way to kill them. – City Press

Riot police have done as much as they can. Traffic restored and they will patrol the hot spots – Jeff Wicks, News24

Post published in: Africa News

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