Shops petrol-bombed over 'protection fee'

2012-07-13 10:23
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Cape Town - Four spaza shops owned by foreigners were petrol-bombed in Beacon Valley, Cape Town, it was reported on Friday.

Mitchells Plain residents told the Cape Times the reason for Thursday's attacks was that some foreigners had refused to pay "protection money" to gangs.

On Wednesday, foreign-owned spaza shops were also petrol-bombed and looted in Valhalla Park, Bishop Lavis.

Property owners were apparently afraid to let space to foreigners for fear their own houses would be targeted.

Shopkeeper Ahmed Ibrahim-Abram told the newspaper he had only been in the country for three months and had been warned of violence against foreigners.

"I never thought they could attempt to kill us with fire."

He said he was asked for R1 000 for a "protection fee" but didn't take it seriously. Another businessman apparently pays R2 000 a month to gangsters for protection.

"We don't have money to pay for security. We have rent to pay. We have ourselves to feed and the business to keep. What these men want is ridiculous," another shopkeeper told the newspaper.

- SAPA
Read more on:    cape town  |  gang violence
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