The African National Congress (ANC) in Gauteng has condemned the “acts of anarchy” that occurred in Johannesburg’s central business district on Thursday.
Viral videos showed scores of people stoning law enforcement vehicles, forcing them to retreat.
Law enforcement officers were reportedly in the area to carry out crime prevention measures, but were stopped from doing so.
In a statement issued on Friday morning, Gauteng ANC said “some foreign national traders” were behind the incident.
The brazen attack on officers of the law is an act of extreme provocation and poses a serious threat to the safety and security of South Africans and other nationalities who are in the country legally.Gauteng ANC
The party hailed operations such as #OkaeMolao, which it said have recovered counterfeit goods worth millions, among other successes.
It called on law enforcement agencies not to be intimidated and to respond firmly to root out lawlessness.
Gauteng Premier David Makhura also vowed that the state will not tolerate “this despicable crime” and that #OkaeMolao will respond “in full force to defend rule of law.”
Meanwhile, Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has expressed disappointment that, a day after the incident, no one has been arrested so far.
Mashaba is known, and has often been criticised, for his hawkish stance on immigration issues.