Foreign-owned shops looted in Kwanobuhle

JANUARY 28, 2015

Eastern Cape police on Tuesday afternoon reported three incidents of foreign-owned spaza shops in Kwanobuhle, in Port Elizabeth.

Police spokesperson, Warrant Officer Gerda Swart, said large groups of people entered three Somali-owned shops in the area late in the afternoon, and began looting stock and trashing the shops.

She says no arrests were made, and police managed to recover goods that were looted at one of the shops.

Swart says police are maintaining a strong presence in Kwanobuhle to prevent any further looting.

Soweto looting connection?

It was not clear yet if the looting in Kwanobuhle had any connection to the events that happened in Soweto and surrounding townships in Johannesburg. It is not the first time that foreign-owned shops have been looted in PE’s townships.

Attacks on foreign-owned shops were sparked on last week, after a 14-year-old boy was killed by a Somali shopkeeper in Soweto. The boy is believed to have been part of a group that tried to rob the shopkeeper.

To date, police say the number of people arrested in connection with looting of foreign-owned shops in Soweto has risen to 178. Children are among over 90 people expected to appear in the Kagiso Magistrate's court on Monday. They are accused of public violence and possession of stolen property following a week of looting in suburbs across Soweto.

Police said that 83 people had already appeared in the Protea Magistrates court and there cases were remanded to January 28 and 29. Six of those were children who were released to the custody of their parents.

The attacks spread to other areas including Alexandra and Langlaagte, where police launched a man-hunt for suspects involved in the murder of two people on Sunday night. It's believed the two men were shot dead during a looting spree in the area.

The looting incidents resulted in the death of four people, including an 18-month-old baby in Kagiso.

Photos: Looting of foreign-owned shops in Soweto. Three incidents of looting were also reported in Port Elizabeth's Kwanobuhle township on Tuesday.