30/05/2017 07:53 SAST | Updated 30/05/2017 07:53 SAST

Fake News Of Children's Kidnappings Sparks Violence In KwaMashu

Police say false reports have sparked looting and violence in KwaMashu.

Tebogo Letsie/The Times/Gallo Images/Getty Images

Police have blamed fake news reports for an outbreak of violence in KwaMashu in Kwazulu-Natal, according to eNCA on Tuesday.

Foreign-owned shops were reportedly looted overnight amid what police say are false reports that children were being kidnapped for the sale of their body parts. Roads were reportedly blocked and cars were stoned, as foreign-owned shops were torched.

According to Times Live, the Public Order Policing Unit has been deployed to the area, and sources say police came under attack.

Major Thulane Zwane, a police spokesperson, told Times Live that police were trying to contain the situation but that it remained tense. Zwane was not immediately able to confirm whether officers had been injured, or whether the shops that had been looted were foreign-owned.

Zwane told the SABC: "We condemn these violent protests that are taking place in KwaMashu and surrounding areas. We heard that there were people who were blocking the roads with burning tyres and stones. We also heard that they were complaining of a certain vehicle of people who are kidnapping other people in this area especially the children.

"But, we want to condemn these allegations because it is false. We have never received any report that one family member was kidnapped and was not found or someone died as a result of these kidnapping. But we also want to tell communities not to post and repost all these fake news [on social media] they must first confirm the fake news [with the police]."