Poor South Africans frequently blame undocumented migrants for increased crime and unemployment.South Africa police minister Bheki Cele has visited the family of an activist killed earlier this week at the Chicken Farm informal settlement in Soweto following a dispute with Lesotho nationals.While visiting Kgomotso Diales family on Wednesday, Cele promised the crowds gathered outside their home that justice would be served Our job is to attend to criminalsbe it foreigners or citizensand if it is people who are in this country illegally committing crimesthe police will have to strengthen their handthe minister told a disapproving crowd.
South African police have already said investigations are continuing into the incident in which five other people were injured.A group of residents from the Pimville and Kliptown communities two of the oldest Black working-class areas in the Gauteng province had attended a meeting on Monday with Lesotho nationals suspected of stealing public power lines that supply electricity to their neighbourhoods.Diale was among the residents.Witnesses who testified at a community meeting on Tuesday evening in Pimville alleged the Lesotho nationals opened fire with AK-47safter a short exchange between the parties.
I am still traumatisedI have not slept at all an elderly female resident who did not wish to be named told Al Jazeera. They just started shooting at us. We were unarmed and we went there with the intention to have a conversation about how much power cable theft has been affecting our communities.Foreigners occupy a section of the Chicken Farm informal settlement and the community knows that they steal the power lines and sell them. It is a very lucrative business but it results in electricity blackouts sometimes for days she said.Cele told the residents his department has assigned a 12 member team of detectives to investigate Diale is death and said the perpetrators would be arrested within 48 hours