Three people killed in Soweto looting

23 January 2015 - 18:57 By Sapa
Residents carry goods which they took from a looted shop owned by foreign nationals on January 22, 2015 in Soweto. File photo.
Residents carry goods which they took from a looted shop owned by foreign nationals on January 22, 2015 in Soweto. File photo.
Image: Gallo Images / Sowetan / Veli Nhlapo

At least three people have died since looting started in Soweto, south of Johannesburg, on Monday, police said.

One of them was a 19-year-old youth who was shot in Naledi at 7pm on Wednesday, Lt-Gen Solomon Makgale said on Friday. He was declared dead on arrival at hospital.

"As a precautionary measure, we have confiscated all the firearms which were carried by the police officers who attended to the looting scene and were present when the 19-year-old was shot," he said.

"We have also informed the Ipid [Independent Police Investigative Directorate]. Investigations into who shot and killed the teenager are continuing."

The Star reported on Thursday that Nhlanhla Monareng, 19, was shot dead when police fired into a crowd gathered at a Pakistani-owned shop in Naledi on Wednesday night. He was a bystander and reportedly friends with the Pakistanis, according to the newspaper.

The first victim was 14-year-old Siphiwe Mahori. He was shot dead, allegedly by a Somalian shopkeeper, when he and a group tried to break into his shop in Snake Park on Monday.

The Star reported that 74-year-old Malawian shopkeeper Dan Mokwena, was attacked and killed as he slept in his shop in the early hours of Wednesday morning.

Makgale said police were still deployed in Soweto.

"Members are sent to scenes as the complaints come in."

He said there had been no reports of school pupils' involvement in the looting in Soweto.

"There were incidents at Langlaagte and Eldorado Park. A group of boys tried to loot a Pakistani shop in Eldorado Park, but the police were quick to respond and the teenagers dispersed before they could cause damage," he said.

In Langlaagte, school children allegedly attacked Pakistani shops and looted them on their way to board trains home.

In Kagiso, on the West Rand, a wall was broken to gain access to a shop, but members of the public order policing unit responded and the looters fled empty-handed, said Makgale.

He said nine people were arrested and charged with public violence and possession of suspected stolen property. A woman was arrested after half of the property allegedly stolen from a spaza shop was found in her house.

"She will be charged with possession of stolen goods," he said.

Makgale said the 10 would appear in the Kagiso Magistrate's Court on January 29.

They are among 162 people arrested in connection with the unrest so far.

Makgale said 44 of them appeared in the Protea Magistrate's Court on Friday morning. The case was postponed to January 29.

"We urge the community to remain calm and we want to assure the citizens of this province that every effort is being made to ensure law and order prevails," he said.