Looting spreads to Ekurhuleni

By Drum Digital
26 January 2015

The looting of foreign-owned shops spread to Eden Park, Ekurhuleni, Gauteng police said.

"We received a report ...a group of some 20 people was trying to loot spaza shops in Eden Park," said Lt-Gen Solomon Makgale.

The group dispersed when police arrived on the scene.

Earlier on Monday morning, a spaza shop was torched in Alexandra. Johannesburg.

Makgale said police were called and informed that people were attempting to loot a foreign-owned shop in the area.

"When police arrived, [the looters] fled and left the scene empty-handed," he said.

"Shortly thereafter, we were informed of a spaza shop that was set alight in another area of Alexandra."

Meanwhile, two suspected looters were found shot dead in Langlaagte on Sunday night.

The pair was allegedly part of a group that went to a Somali-owned shop with the intention to loot it on Sunday night, said Makgale.

A building next to the spaza shop, an engineering firm, was set alight, said Makgale.

"During the commotion, shots were fired and the two males were killed," he said.

Police presumed the shots were fired by the group.

Police managed to recover some of the goods that were looted in the area on Sunday night.

This was done using Section 20 of the Criminal Procedure Act which provides for searching without a warrant under certain circumstances.

"Several shacks were searched and goods including groceries, fridges, generator and drums were recovered," said Makgale.

"A vehicle belonging to the owner of the looted spaza shop was recovered but it had been set alight."

Makgale said no arrests had been made but investigations were continuing.

Looting across several townships began last week following the shooting of 14-year-old Siphiwe Mahori in Snake Park, Soweto.

Somali shop owner Alodixashi Sheik Yusuf appeared in the Protea Magistrate's Court on Monday morning in connection with Mahori's murder.

He allegedly fired at a group of people trying to rob his shop.

The shooting sparked a wave of looting of foreign-owned shops, which spread from Soweto to Kagiso on the West Rand and Sebokeng in the Vaal, causing several deaths, including a baby.

The Star reported that Zanele Majozi, 19, was allegedly running out of a vandalised shop in Kagiso with a bottle of cooldrink, with her month-old baby Nqobile strapped to her chest. People noticed blood on her top, where his face had been resting, and his hand facing the wrong way round. When she unstrapped him she saw he was dead.

Thirty alleged looters were due to appear in the Protea Magistrate's Court on Monday, on charges including possession of stolen goods and public violence.

Makgale said police would continue monitoring the affected areas, and urged the public to report looting.

-SAPA

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