Police out in numbers to protect fearful foreigners

2015-01-22 20:55
(Werner Beukes, Sapa)

(Werner Beukes, Sapa)

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Johannesburg - Dozens of police cars surrounded a supermarket near the iKwezi train station in Soweto following attacks and looting of foreign-owned shops on Thursday.

The Bangladeshi owners of the supermarket had packed five trucks with their goods.

One of the workers at the shop said he had lived in South Africa for six years. When asked whether he and his colleagues had an alternative place to stay overnight, he lifted his shoulders and said he did not know.

One big truck was loaded with Coca Cola refrigerators.

The glass windows of the shops were broken. More goods were still on the floor and on some of the shelves inside the store.

More than a hundred people stood watching and chatting as the owners emptied the large store.

They cheered and whistled as each truck left the area.

One police officer warned the store owners to empty the store as fast as they could before the sun went down.

A small group of people in orange overalls with “Siyabangena Crew” written on them were helping the owners with the move.

Earlier on Thursday, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela was reportedly in Meadowlands to try speak to the people.

Police were on high alert in Soweto, the third day of clashes that left at least two people dead.

Several shops owned by Ethiopians, Pakistanis and Somalis were closed in Snake Park following the attacks.

Residents went on a rampage looting shops and attacking foreigners after a teenager was shot dead in Snake Park.

Mthetheleli Siphiwe Mahori, 14, was shot dead, allegedly by a foreign shop owner on Monday. He was apparently part of a group that tried to rob the shop.

The violence spilled over to Braamfischerville, Dobsonville, Emdeni, Zola and Protea Glen.

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

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