Soweto residents condemn looting "thugs"

By Drum Digital
23 January 2015

The looting of foreign-owned shops started on Monday after 14-year-old Mthetheleli Siphiwe Mahori was shot dead, allegedly by a foreign shop owner in Snake Park, Soweto.

The boy was allegedly with a group that tried to rob the shop.

A Snake Park resident, who declined to be identified for fear of victimization, told DRUM that the shop keeper was trying to protect himself as a group of teenagers were trying to rob him.

“It was around 10pm when I heard a loud bang, only woke up after I heard a second bang. There was a commotion outside,” she said.

“I went to see what was happening, because all of this was happening close by. A teenager was shot and the community was angry and they wanted to kill the man who fired the shots.”

The resident says the Pakistan national was not in the wrong: “He was only trying to protect himself and he fired a warning shot, but that did not stop the teenagers from trying to get inside his shop.”

“It is wrong that now people are looting the foreigners' shops. If only people knew that these Nyaope boys are the ones terrorizing the foreign nationals because they steal from them on a daily basis. These people have done nothing wrong. I know the truth and everyone knows the truth but no one's wants to say it because we're scared they will kill us,” she said.

Eighty-one foreign shops had been looted since Monday and 121 people arrested and are expected to appear in court today and on Monday. Meanwhile police officers have filmed their authority in the location.

By SHARON SERETLO

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