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Foreign-owned shops looted in S. Africa

Thursday, January 22, 2015

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JOHANNESBURG -- Local residents in South Africa's Soweto, southwest of the city of Johannesburg on Wednesday looted a number of foreign-owned shops.

Looting was reported in several areas in Soweto, a township where most of the shops are owned by foreigners.

Dozens of people have been arrested for suspected involvement in acts of violence, according to police.

Some foreign shop owners took up arms to protect themselves.

"I'm scared. They not only loot but also destroy our properties. I lost everything in my shop," said a shop owner from Somali.

Some foreigners were arrested for possession firearms, the police said.

The looting was reportedly triggered by the killing of a teenager by a foreign shop owner on Monday.

"The community of the area got angry and wanted to pay revenge to all foreign owners, saying they must move out because they kill people," police spokesperson Kay Makhubele said.

A large contingent of police has been sent in to contain the situation, which reminds people of attacks on foreigners in the past recent years.

Several places like Gauteng and Eastern Cape Provinces have also witnessed violence directed against foreigners, including refugees and asylum-seekers.


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