Diepsloot calm after looting
Monday, June 3, 2013
by Govan Whittles
Port Elizabeth residents allegedly torched foreign-owned shops and a bus on 30 May 2013. Picture: Siyabonga Sesant/EWN
JOHANNESBURG - Police said no further incidents of looting were reported in Diepsloot, Port Elizabeth or Kroonstad following last week's violent unrest.
A Somali national was stabbed to death in PE while foreign-owned shops were looted in Diepsloot.
The authorities insist the incidents are not xenophobia-related.
The police's Lungelo Dlamini said Diepsloot is calm and the Somali national accused of shooting dead two Zimbabweans will appear in court soon.
“It is still quite and we haven’t received any incidents of violence. The Somali who was charged with murder will appear on 5 June for his bail application.”
Last week Gauteng Police Commissioner Mzwandile Petros disagreed with a call by the Diepsloot ward councillor for the army to be deployed following heavy looting this week.
At least 20 shops were looted and goods worth R150,000 was stolen.
The looting began after two Zimbabweans were shot dead by a Somali shopkeeper after they allegedly tried to rob him.
Petros said they were also looking into recovering the goods which were looted.
“We can recover some of the stock with the help of the community. So we call to the community to help find a solution to the problem.”
The Greater Gauteng Business Forum denied that its members were mobilising to take part in xenophobic attacks in three Johannesburg townships.
But the group said foreign owned shops were bad for South Africa’s economy.
The forum's Tshwane chairperson Mpane Baloyi said they do not want foreigners in townships.
“Our government should stop issuing asylum to these people [foreigners]. They should rather place them in camps. We don’t want them on our streets, not because we hate them, but due to economic space. You have to understand unemployment is very high in South Africa.”
Baloyi said communities were boiling with anger and government should intervene before attacks spill over into a war.
Officials from Johannesburg's mayoral committee said a special programme will be launched to educate residents of Diepsloot on how to live with foreigners.
Community Development Mmc Chris Vondo said, “The community is being engaged and there are a number of programmes which are lined up to respond to the challenge we are facing and we are saying Africa is for African people.”