In this 2015 picture, looters re seen carrying a fridge from a looted foreigner-owned shop in White City. File Picture: Matthews Baloyi.

Johannesburg - Gauteng MEC for Community Safety Faith Mazibuko has condemned the looting of foreign-owned shop and called for calm in Soweto.

During her visit in the area on Thursday, Mazibuko said her office condemns the criminal acts that transpired in Soweto on Wednesday night and commended the police for bringing the suspects to book. 

“I want to congratulate the police, the actually worked very fast. Some of the spaza shops were actually saved, even from Zola. 

“I urge community members to be patient and refrain from doing illegal activities which may land them on the wrong side of the law,” she added.   

Gauteng police spokesperson Captain Kay Makhubele confirmed that seven people were arrested saying they were linked to the looting that occurred on Wednesday night.

They have been been charged with possession of stolen property. Makhubele added that more arrests were imminent as police were working on identifying more suspects linked to the looting. 

He added that the situation was calm and that police officials have been deployed in their numbers to monitor the situation. 

The cause of the looting remains unknown but allegations are that some of the community members had claimed that they had been angered by the attack on police during the Johannesburg raids targeting counterfeit goods.  

Soweto has been plagued by the looting of foreign-owned shops for years.

In august 2018, three people were killed as community members from Soweto looted foreign-owned shops in the area. 

It was alleged that one of three killed was shot dead by a shop owner who opened fire, as he was protecting his shop from the looters. 

It was further alleged that the community members accused shop owners of selling expired and counterfeit products. 

The allegations led to community members burning and looting shops areas including White City. 

In 2015, two people were killed when community members were looting foreign-owned shops in Naledi, Soweto. 

A teenager was shot and killed when police officers opened fire into the crowd gathered at a Pakistani owned-shop. 

It was later alleged that the deceased was a friend with the Pakistani shop owners.

The Star