Immigrant-owned shop saved by residents, later looted

2019-04-12 19:52
The Red Ants with armed security to demolish the structures on private land in Strand near the N2. (Velani Ludidi, GroundUp)

The Red Ants with armed security to demolish the structures on private land in Strand near the N2. (Velani Ludidi, GroundUp)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Looting of immigrant-owned shops continued in the Strand area on Friday, GroundUp reported.

GroundUp earlier reported that the community protected the L'Gra shop in Greenfields, Lwandle from looting on Thursday. But on Friday, it fell victim too.

At least three shops were looted.

The owner, who does not want to be named, fled to the local police station overnight.

Residents who had been looking after the shop left after seeing that the situation seemed calm. But less than 20 minutes later, the shop was emptied by looters.

Mnyamezeli Nkalitshana said: "We guarded the shop with our sticks and we thought it was calm… The shop was assisting people like me who are not permanently employed. I would go and borrow groceries, and when I find a gardening job, I pay it back. This will bring hunger to many of us and the people who did this are not from our area."

The shop owner, a Somali immigrant, told GroundUp: "I was very happy when they managed to stop the looting, but I didn't think they would manage to watch over the shop until this thing ends."

He and his older brother opened the shop in 2007.

"I live there with my three brothers and we have all run away because we are scared. We were selling groceries and sometimes gave people without money [an opportunity] to pay later, because we all live here together helping each other," he said.

This is not the first time he has had to flee. "There was a year when we had to stay away from the township for close to a month because there were violent protests and our shops were targeted. Four times now ,I count, this is happening to me."

"I escaped death in Somalia and found a home here in South Africa. I know there are nice people who want to live with us. It is just the few who want us gone. I hold no grudges against anyone and will forgive the people because anger takes away peace," he said.

Police escorted some shop owners to the N2 where they were driven to safety.

Protests in Strand started on Monday after shacks were demolished by the Red Ants.

Leaders of the land occupation condemned the destruction and looting of shops. Roads were blocked and schools remained closed over safety considerations.

Colonel Xolani Williams of Lwandle police station said: "My police officers are stretched out to the whole area. Some come late because of the road closures as they are based in Grabouw and Khayelitsha. We cannot attend to complaints on time."

KEEP UPDATED on the latest news by subscribing to our FREE newsletter.

- FOLLOW News24 on Twitter

Read more on:    cape town  |  protests

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.

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.