South Africa, Durban – 2 shops owned by foreign nationals were looted and set alight in the Durban CBD on Monday. According to police, a group of about 30 people assembled at King Dinuzulu Park with the aim of marching to the Durban City Hall to hand over a memorandum yesterday.
Police provincial spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker said police informed the group they would not be allowed to march.
He said while this was happening, another group converged in the city and started looting shops before two were set alight. Police officers from Durban central and metro police responded to the incident.
Naicker said the operation was still ongoing to identify and arrest the other perpetrators.
EThekwini Fire Divisional Commander Melvin Ramlall said they managed to extinguish the fire.
Members of the Umkhonto we Sizwe Military Veterans Association (MKMVA) confirmed that they had marched from King Dinuzulu Park to the city hall to hand over their memorandum.
Zibuse Cele, MKMVA member and march co-ordinator, said the march was aimed at calling for a speedy resolution of issues related to the MK veterans.
Cele stressed that their members were not part of the group that looted and torched shops.
According to Durban metro police spokesperson Senior Superintendent Parboo Sewpersad, the MKMVA march was illegal.
He said police had not established a link between the march and the destruction that took place in the city centre.
The incidents come after the MK vets took to the streets in November last year to protest over undocumented foreign nationals operating businesses in the Durban CBD. Some shops were forced to close and others were looted in those incidents.