AFRICANGLOBE – Xenophobia has again reared its ugly head in South Africa’s economic capital, Johannesburg with foreign nationals reporting looting of their shops and being forced to leave their shops under heavy police guard.
On Wednesday morning, police reported several attacks on shops owned by foreign nationals.
“It has now spread to areas such as Emdeni, Zola and Protea Glen areas, west of Soweto,” police spokesman, Kay Makhubela, said.
Makhubela did not have further information on the overnight incidents.
According to reports, foreign nationals allegedly shot dead a 14-year old teenager and injured another when a group of boys attempted to rob a shop on Monday.
The teenager died on the scene and the injured person was taken to hospital.
The shop owner has since been arrested.
The incident then led to violence in which foreign-owned shops were looted and streets blockaded.
Twelve people were arrested and expected to appear in Court shortly.
Makhubela said: “The community members are also saying the foreign shop owners must move out from the area so they’ve been looting their properties. We’ve maintained the situation and managed to arrest some of the suspects”.
The shop owners packed up and loaded their goods into vehicles and with police assistance and were escorted out of the area.
According to a study conducted by the Gauteng City-Region Observatory, 35% of all respondents said “[we should] send all foreigners home”.
The survey, with more than 25,000 respondents, was conducted on the quality of life in Gauteng to find satisfaction levels with governance.
The South African Human Rights Commission said violence against foreigners in the country should now be referred to as “afrophobia” and not xenophobia with the latest research showing Africans are attacked and not Europeans.
In 2008 violent xenophobic attacks against African immigrants in South Africa displaced thousands.
A number of people were also killed amid mass looting and destruction of foreign-owned homes, property and businesses.
By: Crystal Oderson