39 arrested for Soweto looting violence

22 January 2015 - 10:47 By Sapa
File photo of Soweto.
File photo of Soweto.
Image: Nardus Nel/ Drum/ Media 24/ Gallo Images

Twenty-nine more people have been arrested in Bramfischerville and Snake Park in connection with the looting and violence which began earlier this week, Gauteng police said.

This brings number of people arrested to 39, Lieutenant Kay Makhubela said on Wednesday night.

The group of 29 was arrested for looting shops owned by foreign nationals in both areas, he said.

He said members of the communities were allegedly breaking into closed shops owned by foreign nationals.

"They are continuing to loot but we are busy trying to escort those who want to leave the area."

By 10pm some calm had been restored to the areas, Makhubela said. However the number of arrests could increase as the night progressed.

Earlier on Wednesday three Somali nationals were arrested in Bramfischerville phase two for being in possession of three unlicensed firearms.

"They were shooting at the community as the community was attacking them and looting their shops and demanding they leave the area," Makhubela said.

The trio was also found in possession of fake South African identity documents.

The looting had spread to Mapetla, Dobsonville, Emdeni, Zola and Protea Glen overnight following a shooting in Snake Park, near Dobsonville.

On Monday foreign nationals allegedly shot dead a teenager and injured another when a group of boys attempted to rob their shop. The shooting sparked protests and forced some foreign shop owners to flee the area.

The Star identified the teenager, who died after being shot in the neck, as Mthetheleli Siphiwe Mahori, 14.

Two people were arrested in Jabulani earlier on Wednesday when they were found looting a shop owned by a foreign national.

Five other Somali nationals were arrested on Tuesday in Snake Park for shooting at the community, which was allegedly looting their shops.

The group of five was arrested for possession of unlicensed firearms, Makhubela said.