The looting in Soweto is believed to be backlash from the SAPS raids for counterfeit goods in the Johannesburg CBD that started two weeks ago. Gauteng member of the executive council (MEC) for economic development and agriculture Kgosientsho Ramokgopa made a trip to Soweto following the looting of business owned by Foreign nationals.
Soweto businesses owned by foreign nationals reportedly targeted
14 August 2019
Some Soweto residents have justified last night’s looting of foreign-owned shops . They’ve admitted to targeting foreigners to avenge the attack on police in the Johannesburg CBD earlier this month. That was when police were forced to retreat when a large group of people turned on them as they were about to raid shops trading in counterfeit goods. Police have not yet arrested anyone in connection with Wednesday night’s looting. For an update on developments in Soweto we cross to our news reporter Sashin Naidoo.
Ramokgopa blamed the violence on anger over a weak economy and unemployment.
He felt that that it was also a response to clashes earlier this month between foreign street vendors and police who confiscated their counterfeit products in Johannesburg’s central business district.
“It is alleged that the locals are looting foreign-owned shops and attacking shop owners as a form of retaliation to the… the operation that went wrong in the Johannesburg central business district over two weeks ago,” he said.
“Whereas it is easy to characterize the situation as xenophobia and self-hate, we think that central to the problem is a shrinking economy that is squeezing people out of jobs and business. Undoubtedly, this is breeding ground for conflict.”
Ramokgopa said his visit to Soweto was aimed at finding both political and practical solutions to the situation. Although the time for talk may be long past.
Police raids in Johannesburg – ILLEGALS
The raids in the Joburg CBD were in the news for all sort of reasons, including traders pelting police with stones, officers being arrested for colluding with counterfeiters, the deportation of around 360 foreign nationals, and the crazy things found by the South African Police Force – including R20 000 worth of diesel and a lot of guns.
During the clashes in the city centre two weeks ago, mainly foreign street vendors pelted police with rocks and chased them out of the area causing officers to leave the area to avoid bloodshed.
Police returned a week later and arrested hundreds of undocumented foreign nationals.
They also discovered high calibre firearms during the raid.
Gauteng police spokesman Captain Kay Makhubele said officers were monitoring areas affected. Some shop owners who wanted to leave the area were escorted to safety.