Suspected looters shot dead
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Johannesburg - Two suspected looters have been shot and killed in Langlaagte, south of Johannesburg, police said on Monday.
The pair was allegedly part of a group that went to a Somalian-owned shop with an intention to loot it on Sunday night, said Lt-Gen Solomon Makgale.
A building next to the spaza shop, which is an engineering firm, was set alight, said Makgale.
“During the commotion, shots were fired and the two males were killed,” he said.
Police presume the shots were fired by the group.
A case of arson and murder was being investigated.
Meanwhile a spaza shop was torched in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg, police said.
Police were called and informed that people were attempting to loot a foreign-owned shop in the area, said Lt-Gen Solomon Makgale.
“When police arrived, [the looters] fled and left the scene empty-handed,” said Makgale.
“Shortly thereafter, we were informed of a spaza shop that was set alight in another area of Alexandra.”
Police had since been deployed to the area.
Looting across several townships began last week following the shooting of 14-year-old Siphiwe Mahori in Snake Park, Soweto.
The boy had allegedly been part of a group who set upon a shop kept by Somali national Senosi Yusuf last Monday. He was shot dead when Yusuf allegedly shot at the group.
Yusuf was set to appear in the Protea Magistrate's Court on Monday, on a charge of murder.
Another 19-year-old youth was shot in Naledi on Wednesday and was declared dead on arrival at hospital.
According to The Star, Nhlanhla Monareng was killed when police fired into a crowd gathered at a Pakistani-owned shop. He was a bystander.
The newspaper reported that 74-year-old Malawian shopkeeper Dan Mokwena was also attacked and killed as he slept in his shop on Wednesday.
On Friday, a baby was trampled to death when a crowd fled from a shop they had just looted.
Makgale said police would continue monitoring the affected areas, and urged the public to report looting.
Over 90 people are expected to appear in the Kagiso Magistrate's Court on Monday on charges of public violence and being in possession of stolen property.
Makgale said 178 people have been arrested in the violence, labelled by some as xenophobic.
He said 83 people had already appeared in the Protea Magistrate’s Court and their cases were remanded to January 28 and 29.
Six of those were children who were released to the custody of their parents.
Deputy Minister in the Presidency Buti Manamela asked people to take responsibility for events of the past week.
“Crime is crime - you cannot justify it,” he said.
He condemned the looting, saying those leading it would turn against their neighbour once there were no foreigner-owned shops to loot.
“They will look next door and say 'you are Venda therefore you must go to Venda', or, 'you are a Xhosa you must go to Pondoland'.”
A group called the Africa Diaspora Forum said the attacks were xenophobic and not simply “crime”.
Some reports have suggested that use of the drug Nyaope may also be a factor in the violence.