Soweto riots: 90 expected in court

2015-01-26 06:50

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More than 90 people, including children, are expected to appear in court today on charges of public violence and being in possession of stolen property following a week of looting in suburbs across Soweto.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant General Solomon Makgale said 178 people were arrested in the violence, labelled by some as xenophobic, sparked by the shooting of 14-year-old Siphiwe Mahori last week.

The boy had allegedly been part of a group who set upon a shop kept by Somalian Senosi Yusuf last Monday. He was shot dead when Yusuf allegedly shot at the group.

Yusuf would also appear in the Protea Magistrates’ Court on Monday, on a charge of murder.

Makgale said 83 people had already appeared in the Protea Magistrates’ Court and there cases were remanded to January 28 and 29.

Six of those were children who were released to the custody of their parents.

A 19-year-old youth was shot in Naledi on Wednesday and was declared dead on arrival at hospital.

Nhlanhla Monareng was reportedly killed when police fired into a crowd gathered at a shop owned by a Pakistani shop. He was a bystander and apparently friends with the Pakistanis.

The Star also reported that 74-year-old Malawian shopkeeper Dan Mokwena was attacked and killed as he slept in his shop in the early hours of Wednesday.

A baby was also trampled to death when a crowd was running away on Friday.

Makgale said police would keep monitoring the areas and asked the public to report any looting.

He also asked that shop owners not take the law into their own hands.

Deputy Minister in the Presidency Buti Manamela asked people to take responsibility for events of the past week.

“Crime is crime – you cannot justify it,” he said.

He condemned the looting, saying those leading it would turn against their neighbour once there were no foreigner-owned shops to loot.

“They will look next door and say ‘you are Venda therefore you must go to Venda’ or ’you are a Xhosa you must go to Pondoland’.”

A group called the Africa Diaspora Forum said the attacks were xenophobic and not simply “crime”.

Some reports have suggested that use of the drug Nyaope may also be a factor in the violence.

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