south african news today

Source: Twitter / @crimeairnetwork

Nine foreign-owned stores looted in Hillbrow

Images of the looted stores did the rounds on social media.

south african news today

Source: Twitter / @crimeairnetwork

Things turned for the worst on Fife Street, in Hillbrow, on Sunday. Images of stores that appear to have been looted flooded social media.

The word was that foreign-owned stores in the area — at least nine of them — had been attacked and looted by disgruntled members of the community.

Well-renowned Twitter user, @crimeairnetwork posted images of what looks like a store in Hillbrow ransacked with destroyed products littered outside its entrance.

The news of the attack was, on Monday, confirmed by Vanguard, a Nigeria-based media publication. Publicity Secretary of the Nigerian Union in South Africa, Habib Miller, revealed to the publication that there had been an attack (in his view, by South Africans) on Nigerian nationals.

“Nine Nigerian businesses have been looted and burnt. The incident began on Sunday and continued until Monday, [22 October]. Businesses affected range from restaurants, [an] internet cafè, bar, and [grocery stores].

“At the time of the incident, electricity in the area was cut off. One of the businesses affected is owned by Mr C. J. Ubah, a bar owner on Fife Street.” Miller stated.

Miller also indicated that there have been no reports of any casualties suffered in the attack. He also confirmed that the union would monitor the situation closely and work with police to bring calm in the area.

“We have also advised Nigerians in the area to adopt safety measures by being alert”, Miller added.

We are still awaiting an official statement from the police. However, an officer from the Hillbrow police station did confirm with us, telephonically, that there indeed was an attack on foreign-owned stores on Fife Street.

Xenophobia in South Africa

This is not the first attack on foreign-owned stores in South Africa. Not too far from Hillbrow, a few weeks ago, foreign-owned stores in White City, Soweto, were looted after it was alleged that the owners were selling fake and outdated products.

Attacks on foreigners in South Africa have been a common occurrence. Most of these are largely influenced by the stereotypes South Africans attach to foreign nationals from other parts of Africa.

Drugs and fraud are at the top of the list of reasons why South Africans feel the way they do about foreign nationals.

In some cases, attacks of this kind are fueled by frustrations over poor service delivery. This relationship does not work well for President Cyril Ramaphosa who, in 2018, has made multiple attempts to try and forge a bilateral relationship with Nigeria.