Foreign-owned shops burnt, looted in Free State

2015-05-19 10:41
(File, Nielen de Klerk, News24)

(File, Nielen de Klerk, News24)

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Bloemfontein - A confrontation involving a local woman who is married to a foreign national, resulted in 11 people being arrested, three shops being burnt down and at least 18 shops looted near the Free State town of Petrus Steyn.

Police spokesperson Sergeant Mmako Mophiring told News24 that the local community of Mamafubedu, a small informal settlement in the area, had a community meeting at 17:00 on Monday.

A group of residents then went to the shop of a foreign businessman, where one of the local residents confronted the foreign national’s South African wife.

“This resulted in an assault when the man slapped the woman. She retaliated with a sharp object, possibly a panga, and injured him badly,” Sergeant Mophiring said.

In reaction, the group from the local community set three shops belonging to foreign businessmen alight. The police was called in and they arrested 11 people, but not before 18 or more other shops were looted.

On Tuesday morning the atmosphere was tense and many of the foreign shopkeepers removed stock from their shelves.

A case of public violence was opened and both the man and the woman laid charges of assault against each other.

The police are investigating and it is expected that some or all of the arrested residents will appear in the Petrus Steyn Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  xenophobia  |  crime

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