Police said Wednesday they have arrested a Pakistani man accused of opening fire on a crowd of protesters in a South African town east of Pretoria and injuring several people. Township residents hurled rocks and barricaded roads protesting the murder of a boy allegedly beaten to death with a golf club by a Pakistani shop owner. “The boy was assaulted by one of the Pakistanis allegedly because he was stealing sweets,” said the police. “He died in hospital yesterday.” Residents went on the rampage overnight, ransacking around 15 foreign-owned shops, according to police.
“One Pakistani guy was trying to get out of the protest area, and he was firing shots towards the protesters,” police spokeswoman Marissa van der Merwe told AFP. The suspect was arrested. Police said both South Africans and Pakistanis had been wounded in the clashes, but did not give specific numbers. With poverty rife and unemployment and widespread, frustration in South Africa’s run-down neighbourhoods often boils over into anti-immigrant violence. An explosion of deadly attacks in 2008 killed more than 60 people and displaced thousands into refugee-style camps.