Crime doesn't have a nationality‚ says diaspora forum of Rustenburg drug rampage

12 January 2018 - 19:12 By Kgaugelo Masweneng
Rustenburg community members went on a rampage‚ burning buildings that are believed to be drug dens.
Rustenburg community members went on a rampage‚ burning buildings that are believed to be drug dens.
Image: Melo waBotho via Twitter

About 200 foreigners have sought refuge at a police station in Rustenburg after South Africans on Wednesday torched six buildings they believed to be drug dens.

This is according to Marc Gbaffou, chairperson of the African Diaspora Forum (ADF), who called on all stakeholders to work together to root out criminals.

“We [the ADF] are against any criminal activity; it does not matter who committed it,” he said,

Gbaffou said it was disingenuous to call this a crime of a specific nation. “Foreign communities are easily [seen] as criminals.”

He said all foreigners residing in Rustenburg lived in fear. “They are scared. They have since shut their businesses as they are scared the community might retaliate and attack them.”

Gbaffou said the diaspora forum supported the eradication of crime but did not want people taking the law into their own hands.

Police said Wednesday’s arson attacks could have been sparked by two arrests, of a man who had allegedly raped a teenager and a police officer found in possession of drugs at the same place.

Gbaffou said the crowd of about 50 people who torched the buildings should have reported the alleged crimes committed at that location. “And if that does not bear any fruit‚ then it would help to find out what next level of authority to escalate it to.”

In an effort to intervene‚ the diaspora forum said it planned to meet the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees next week.

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