Cops teargas foreigners after calling off march

09 April 2015 - 02:51 By Nathi Olifant and Nivashni Nair

Riot police used teargas, water cannons and stun grenades to disperse a crowd of about 300 foreigners who refused to disperse after their anti-xenophobia march in the Durban city centre was cancelled yesterday. Police initially approved the march, which was scheduled to start at King Dinuzulu Park, but withdrew permission after being alerted to a threat of violence from an opposition group.A group of taxi drivers attempted to block the intersection of Dr Prixley kaSeme Street and King Dinuzulu Road, just a stone's throw from the park.Police succeeded in removing the taxis but city manager S'bu Sithole felt it was still too dangerous for the march to proceed.A second planned march of about 300 foreigner s from Curries Fountain was also stopped.Said Sithole: "It must be noted that as the city we have never stopped nor denied anyone from marching, but this time the police identified a risk. The risk being that the marchers could be attacked. So in the interest of justice and safety we had to call off the march."A new date for the march will be set. Some foreigners felt they were being silenced.The march had initially been scheduled to take place before the Easter weekend, only to be called off. Fernando Telo, from Mozambique, said: "We just need commitment from the authorities that they will not only protect us during the march, but also protect us where we live and work."Further xenophobic attacks were reported in Chatsworth, south of Durban, yesterday.

This article is reserved for Sunday Times subscribers.

A subscription gives you full digital access to all Sunday Times content.

Already subscribed? Simply sign in below.

Registered on the BusinessLIVE, Business Day or Financial Mail websites? Sign in with the same details.

Questions or problems? Email or call 0860 52 52 00.