A planned shutdown of Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, that was meant to begin on Monday, has been suspended owing to fears of looting and xenophobic attacks, SABC reported.
A message had earlier been doing the rounds on social media that the township would be ‘closed down’ from Monday to Tuesday.
The WhatsApp message demands that Eskom must “come down to Diepsloot and fix their mess” and that “undocumented citizens/illegal immigrants must leave Diepsloot with an (sic) immediate effect”.
According to RSG, residents also cited unhappiness about the completion of the R511 road and the Diepsloot East housing development.
However, it emerged on Sunday afternoon that community leaders had reconsidered the shutdown fearing violence.
“We can’t allow a shutdown that will give criminals an opportunity to loot the businesses of Diepsloot. So we are trying to avoid that. Yes, we are saying there are serious issues that need to be raised but we must find a proper way of addressing them. There were certain issues that we were not happy with, issues in the message which was circulating, for example people from other countries that they should be dealt with,” community leader Sicelo Shezi told SABC News.
On Sunday, police spokesperson Captain Makgowanyana Maja told Centurion Record that the circulating message cannot be confirmed as either bogus or legitimate.
“We are, however, aware of it and ready to deal with it,” he reportedly said.
News24 attempted to elicit comment from the SAPS and JMPD but spokespersons could not be reached.