Shops remain shut in Tshwane as protests, looting subside
Despite a semblance of peace‚ grocery shops in Mamelodi and Mabopane‚ two hotspots of the ANC unrest in Pretoria‚ remained shut on Thursday. Protesting residents continued looting foreign-owned shops in the two townships yesterday.
The looting spree broke out in Mamelodi on Tuesday night following a doomed visit by incumbent mayor Kgosientso 'Sputla' Ramokgopa‚ ANC Gauteng chairman Paul Mashatile and Aaron Motsoaledi‚ the country's Health Minister.
Two suspected looters were killed in Mamelodi on Tuesday night‚ allegedly by under siege shopkeepers.
In total‚ five people have died in the wave of election campaign violence‚ resisting the ANC's appointment of an "outsider" Thoko Didiza as its mayoral candidate.
Thoko Didiza speaks about violent resistance to her candidacy as Tshwane mayor African National Congress Tshwane mayoral candidate Thoko Didiza on Thursday said she has never been made to feel like a "foreigner" in the capital city.
Police said over 40 suspected looters are expected to appear in various courts tomorrow on charges of public violence‚ theft and being in possession of stolen property. The townships are relatively calm today‚ with no looting happening.
Roads were also clear of youths that blocked them.
While large rocks have been removed in major roads‚ rubble of burnt tyres remain in some of the routes.
But shop owners were nowhere to be seen in Mamelodi and Mabopane today. They are believed to have fled the townships and could return only once they were sure normality had returned.
But beyond just obtaining new stock‚ they face a mammoth task of rebuilding their businesses.
A Sowetan reporter gained entry into a number of damaged shops on Wednesday. Refrigerators and other operating appliances were also stolen.
Chinese-owned Khavhakhavh Sar Supermarket‚ located near the Solomon Mahlangu Freedom Square‚ west of Mamelodi‚ was cleaned out of its furniture and grocery stock.
Blackie's Tailor‚ a studio owned by Billy Makhubedu‚ a South African tailor‚ was found burnt‚ allegedly as retaliation by Pakistani nationals whose shop was looted.
Makhubedu lost his expensive industrial machines‚ garment stock and complete clothes. He estimated damages to his business to be worth about R300‚000.
Denlyn‚ a large shopping centre near Mamelodi's Solomon Mahlangu Freedom Square‚ is operating under tight security.
Security guards are allowing only pedestrians and delivery vehicles at the gate and not private cars.