Residents of Soweto in South Africa looted several foreign-owned shops on Wednesday.
Areas affected so far include- Moletsine, Emdeni, Zola, White City, Rockville and Zondi. This is coming after a year of similar xenophobic attacks in Soweto.
Captain Kay Makhubele, police spokesman confirmed that residents from several townships have been looting foreign-owned shops since Wednesday evening. “At the moment it is not clear what started this. We are yet to determine the wide scale of the looting, but we have members on the ground monitoring the situation,” he said
White City residents claimed the looting was in retaliation for police officers attacked in Johannesburg’s CBD more than two weeks ago.
Law enforcement personnel last week through the “Okae Molao” operation reclaimed control of Johannesburg CBD which saw three pistols, seven assault rifles and millions of rand worth of counterfeit goods being confiscated in the inner city and hundreds of undocumented foreigners arrested.
According to a resident of Soweto identified as Tshepo Lehohla, “how can people from out of this country attack our police officers? Police in other countries would not tolerate that. People are angry because of that,” he said.
Another resident said the looting was bound to happen. Moeketsi Tladi said he was not surprised at what was happening in his area. “People have been upset with what happened. It was only a matter of time,” he said.