Soweto looting foreign

Photo: Ditsaba Tsotetsi / Twitter

Soweto looting: Possible motives revealed as foreigners flee stores [video]

Foreign-owned shops were targeted in Soweto last night, as widespread looting picked off the spaza stores one-by-one. But what has sparked the violence?

Soweto looting foreign

Photo: Ditsaba Tsotetsi / Twitter

A night of violence and intimidation erupted in Soweto, Johannesburg on Wednesday night, as dozens of local residents turned on the foreign nationals who run spaza shops in the area.

A number of stores were targeted by the community. Police have attempted to restore calm in the area throughout the early hours of the morning, as they try to find a motive to this case.

Soweto looting – latest news: Why are locals rioting?

One possible lead is that this is all linked to the CBD protests we saw two weeks ago in Johannesburg. A gaggle of foreign nationals attacked police officers and closed down the city centre with their robust demonstrations. That, in turn, saw Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba crackdown on illegal traders.

Last Wednesday, scores of illegal stores were turned-over in the Gauteng metropolis, with police seizing everything from counterfeit clothing to an array of assault weapons. The Gauteng Community Safety Department are entertaining the idea that last night’s looting was retaliatory.

However, it seems the topic of “xenophobia” will soon become the hot-button issue of the day. Some locals are frustrated that immigrants are setting up businesses in areas where work is hard to come by. Another foreign-owned spaza shop, in some eyes, adds to the mounting problems.

Foreign-owned shops targeted again

It was around this time last year that a number of spaza shops were looted and raided by an angered community, many of whom accused the establishments of selling fake goods and expired foods. History has sadly repeated itself in Soweto overnight…

Dobsonville, Snake Park, Rockville, Meadowlands, Zola, Jabulani and Protea Glen are some of the main areas that were picked off by looters. Police officers have been tasked with ensuring the foreign nationals subject to these attacks are escorted to safety, and away from any more potentially violent raids.

Watch foreign-owned shops in Soweto get looted here: