December 9, 2022

Three people have been killed in South Africa during violence on Wednesday targeting foreign-owned businesses in Soweto, police say.

Protests broke out after shopkeepers were accused of selling out-of-date and counterfeit produce, local reports say.

It is thought the violence escalated after a Somali shopkeeper shot dead a teenager who allegedly tried to rob his store.

Foreign-owned shops were looted, including this one run by an Ethiopian. Some shopkeepers are reported to have fled the area carrying the goods they managed to salvage.

Police have arrested 27 people in connection with the looting and violence. This has reminded many in South Africa of the gruesome attacks of May 2008, reports the BBC’s Pumza Fihlani.

At that time 62 people died, 41 were foreigners and 21 were South Africans.

Officers are investigating who fired the fatal shots in the area and say that more arrests are expected.

Security has been stepped up following the protests and violence and shopkeepers were told to temporarily close their businesses.

Some of the shopkeepers fear that there could be further violence. “There is no government here. If there was a government here, they would control these things,” one is quoted as saying.

There are lingering fears that much like in 2008, the violence could spread to other parts of the country, our correspondent says.

The local authorities said they were looking into the allegations that the shops were selling out-of-date and counterfeit goods.

Pictures from AFP and Reuters

Source: BBC

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