Kroonstad calm after looting

2013-05-31 08:57
A police officer stands guard outside a foreign-owned shop in Diepsloot. (Picture: AFP)

A police officer stands guard outside a foreign-owned shop in Diepsloot. (Picture: AFP)

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Johannesburg - The situation in Maokeng, Kroonstad, in the Free State on Friday morning was quiet after foreign-owned shops were looted, police said.

"Yes it is still quiet and the police are still monitoring the situation," said Sergeant Thabo Litabe.
He said police would maintain a presence in the area as long as it was required.

On Thursday, he said: "The community got angry. They wanted to protest over services they got from the municipality. They then decided to go to the foreigners' shops and looted them."

He said no arrests had been made, but a case of public violence had been opened.

Police were not sure how many shops had been looted, because no shop owners had come forward yet.

Somali man stabbed to death

Kroonstad is the fourth area hit by a spate of violence against foreigners. The others are Port Elizabeth, Diepsloot, and the Vaal.

A Somali man was stabbed to death in Greenfields, Port Elizabeth, on Thursday - the third murder in the area this week.

Two men were beaten to death on Tuesday after it was alleged they had robbed a spaza shop.

The violence started after community leaders were arrested for the murder. It spilled over into other areas in the north of Port Elizabeth.

Residents looted foreign-owned shops, barricaded roads, and burnt tyres.

Violence in Diepsloot, north of Johannesburg, started on Sunday when Somali Bishar Isaack, 39, allegedly shot dead two Zimbabweans outside his shop when they tried to rob him.

He was arrested and appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on Tuesday. The case was postponed to 4 June, when he was expected to bring a formal bail application.

Looting and vandalism

Gauteng police spokesperson Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said residents later stoned and looted the shop, and also looted several other shops.

In the Vaal, police received around 100 complaints of looting and vandalism of shops belonging to foreigners and South Africans, following service delivery protests in the area last week.

Scores of people were arrested for the attacks in both areas. Dlamini said Diepsloot was quiet on Thursday following the violence.

Police deployed in the area would remain there until satisfied the situation had returned to normal, he said.
Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  xenophobia

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