More Soweto foreign-owned shops closing doors after violence

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More foreign-owned shops are closing their doors, fearing further looting and violence. This after the three people were left dead in Soweto, south of Johannesburg when locals attacked foreign businesses.

Twenty-seven people were arrested for among others murder, attempted murder, possession of unlicensed firearms and public violence. Some of those under attack took cover at the local police station with what they could salvage.

Elizabeth Qayiso’s grandson Banele, was one of the victims of Wednesday’s attacks. He was in a spaza shop buying a few items when locals stormed it. Violence broke out and he was shot dead.

“My heart is so sore, I feel like screaming. At first, I was in a state of shock, now I feel like screaming, I could not believe it I thought he would walk in the door any minute, but he is gone,” says Qayiso.

Innocent Langa’s family is equally distraught. He was shot in the head and is still fighting for his life in hospital. His aunt, Nomusa Langa says she was told Innocent was coerced by a group of friends to join in the looting.

“They said that he was shot in the back (of the head) and the bullet lodged in the brain. Doctors have asked us to take a decision on whether to switch off the machines,” says Langa.

As mop-up operations continue, both local and foreign shop owners are counting their losses. While shops remain closed, there is fear and uncertainty as to whether the violence will continue.

Those arrested will appear in court on Friday.

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