Foreign shop owners wary of attacks

2015-01-27 00:00

FOREIGN shop owners in Pietermaritzburg are fearful that the attacks on businessmen in Soweto may spread to other provinces.

The unrest in Soweto began last week when a 14-year-old boy was shot and killed by a foreigner who owns a spaza shop. The killing angered many residents who took to the streets and attacked foreign shops, looting their goods and vandalising their properties.

The looting spread from Soweto to Kagiso on the West Rand and Sebokeng in the Vaal, causing several deaths including a baby who was trampled by a group of people running.

Since last week over 100 shops in Soweto have been looted.

In Pietermaritzburg, a Somali shop owner who wished to remain anonymous, said looting of any kind would break his business. “Any businessman would react when their business is under attack,” he said.

A Nigerian who runs a barbershop in town told The Witness that even though the police announced that the criminal act wasn’t “xenophobic” he feared an outbreak of mob mentality.

A Pakistani supermarket owner said there was no need for an attack on foreign nationals because their businesses give job opportunities to South Africans. “The community should have reacted differently because the boy had wronged the shop owner. The matter should have been left for police to deal with,” he said.

KwaZulu-Natal police spokesperson Major Thulani Zwane said police had not received any complaints from foreign shop owners in the province.


ATTACKS on foreign national businessmen have raised serious concerns for the KwaZulu-Natal MEC for Transport, Community Safety and Liaison Willies Mchunu.

This comes after a Somali shop owner was murdered in Inanda C section over the weekend by an unknown man who burst into the shop and opened fire. The suspect fled and no goods were stolen.

Mchunu said, “We are calling on all concerned to cease these attacks and resume talks aimed at finding solutions to their concerns. Teams from our department are already on the ground, working with the police and all concerned to initiate talks that will produce a lasting solution …”

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions. publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.