Foreigners pack up after week-long looting in Soweto

2015-01-22 16:04
(File: News24)

(File: News24)

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Johannesburg - Sixty-eight people have been arrested in Soweto this week for looting and violence, Gauteng's police commissioner said on Thursday.

"Police have arrested a total of 68 people and recovered eight unlicensed firearms during public violence and looting of foreign nationals in Soweto," police spokesperson Lesetja Mothiba told reporters in Johannesburg.

Eight of those were foreign nationals who were found in possession of seven unlicensed firearms.

Charges against those arrested included murder, attempted murder, public violence, and robbery.

Two people have been shot dead and two injured since violence broke out between locals and foreigners in Snake Park on Monday.

Eighty-one foreign-owned shops have been looted.

The looting started on Monday after 14-year-old Mthetheleli Siphiwe Mahori was shot dead, allegedly by a foreign shop owner in Snake Park. He was apparently part of a group that tried to rob the shop.

"One of the boys was fatally shot and another injured," said Mothiba.

"It's alleged that the members of the community staged revenge [attacks] and started looting foreign shops in the area."

Foreigners fired shots to defend themselves and their property, he said.

"The guy who shot the boy has been arrested and charged with murder, attempted murder, possession of an illegal firearm and ammunition."

He would appear in the Protea Magistrate's Court on Thursday.

The second person killed was shot dead during looting in Zola on Wednesday night.

Gauteng Community Safety MEC Sizakele Nkosi-Malobane said all cases had been moved to the Protea Magistrate's Court.

The State would oppose bail against all 68 who had been arrested, she said.

Dobsonville station commander, Brigadier Azwindini Nengovhela, said many foreigners had left the area for their own safety.

"All those others who owned tuck shops voluntarily decided to leave."

Police had helped them leave the area.

Read more on:    soweto  |  johannesburg  |  crime  |  soweto unrest
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