Police commended for swift action in Emmanuel Sithole arrests

Monday, April 20, 2015

By More Matshediso

Pretoria - Government has commended the swift action of the South African Police Service (SAPS) and Alexandra community members for assisting in the arrest of three suspects allegedly linked to the murder of Emmanuel Sithole.

The Government Communications and Information System (GCIS) on Monday said police were still searching for the fourth suspect.

Sithole, a Mozambican national, was stabbed by four men in Alexandra at the weekend. The events were captured by Sunday Times photographer, James Oatway, who was on an assignment on Saturday.

Acting Cabinet Spokesperson Phumla Williams said the police should be commended for their swift action following a tip-off by members of the community.

“The suspects are due to appear in court, and we call for the wheels of justice to turn. Government appeals to all communities to continue working with law enforcement agencies to ensure that the perpetrators of this heinous crime are brought to book,” said Williams.

The violence against foreign nationals which first flared in Durban spread to some areas in Gauteng.

The police have apprehended more than 300 people involved in the attacks.

Government on Monday also thanked those churches and religious leaders that have heeded President Jacob Zuma’s call to pray for peace and friendship.

Government also thanked members of communities for standing their ground against the attacks and encouraged South Africans to promote living in peace and harmony.

“South Africans and civil society organisations are encouraged to partner with government in creating a safer and healthier environment for our communities to thrive.

“It is the responsibility of every community in South Africa, to work together with government, towards social cohesion and nation building,” said Williams.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura has also welcomed the arrests, adding that 154 people have been arrested in the province since the attacks started.

“We encourage the police and other law enforcement agencies to continue working round the clock to protect both foreign nationals and citizens and to arrest those breaking the law," said Premier Makhura.

He expressed appreciation for all the anti-violent campaigns against attacks on foreign nationals and positive messages from society, community leaders, faith based organisations and the media, condemning the inhumane acts.

The Gauteng Provincial Government will this week embark on a series of engagements with various community leaders, including the hostel dwellers leadership.

On Thursday, the provincial government is set to join a march organised by the Peoples Coalition Against Xenophobia and Friends Assembles at 1pm at Peter Roos Park on Empire Road on Constitution Hill. - SAnews.gov.za