Johannesburg - Banele Xqayiso was not looting when he was shot dead during a clash between community members and foreign shop owners in White City, Soweto on Wednesday. This is according to his brother, Mandlekosi Qhayiso.
"I got a call while I was at work and I was told my brother is dead."
He said his 23-year-old brother was a paying customer, not a looter. He went to the shop to buy snuff.
A witness said Banele walked into the shop after a few boys had entered to loot. In a bid to protect his shop‚ the owner is alleged to have opened fire, fatally wounding Banele. "These boys came out of the shop running and Banele was left behind when the shot was fired," said the witness.
Police have confirmed that two people have died during the clash between locals and foreign shop owners in Soweto. It is not yet clear how the second person died.
Gauteng SAPS spokesperson Colonel Lungelo Dlamini said he believes the altercation between the locals and foreign nationals was sparked by the article that was published in The Star about foreign owned spaza shops who sell fake and expired goods.
“That’s the whole thing that sparked this so the people are attacking these shops,” said Dlamini.
Some foreign nationals who own shops in White City were seen packing and leaving their shops.
One shop owner also described the injuries he sustained when scores of people came to loot his shop in White City. He said he was assaulted and his car stolen.
There are reports that looting has spread to other parts of Soweto, including Snake Park where in 2015 a foreign shop owner shot and killed a 15-year-old boy. That incident began when a group of boys high on nyaope attempted to rob a local shop. The owner, a foreigner, took out his gun and the would-be attackers fled.
The assailants retreated into the community and accused the shopkeepers of owning guns. This precipitated a series of events that saw a teenager shot dead and foreigners driven out of the area. The boys omitted to say how they had found out about the guns.