In this file picture, looters exit from a tuck shop in Meadowlands, Soweto. Picture: Chris Collingridge

Johannesburg - Many foreign-owned shops in Soweto were empty shells of themselves on Thursday morning after residents ransacked, trashed and looted them on Wednesday night.

The looting occurred in different parts of Soweto such as Moroka, Dlamini, Protea Glen, Dobsonville, Rockville and Zola.

It is not yet known what led to the looting of the shops but police said they were still investigating.

Police spokesperson Colonel Kay Makhubele said they got information on Wednesday night that foreign owned shops were being looted.

"We rushed there and assisted the shop owners to move their stuff. They packed them in their trucks and vans and we escorted them out of the area.

"We took them to various police stations and they stated that the would be going to Fordbsurg," he said.

While the looting of foreign-owned ships is something that has happened many times in Soweto, Makhubele said he did not know why the foreigners were seen as easy targets and that it was only the community that could answer that.

No injuries have been reported and Makhubele said the situation was calm.

He appealed to the community never to take the law into their hands as that turns them into criminals.

No one has been arrested yet.

The Star