Police say they suspect rivalry betwen local and Somalian shopkeepers was behind the looting and burning of spaza shops in Port Elizabeth this week.
Fourteen spaza shops were looted and three were burnt down on Wednesday night in Motherwell and KwaDwesi, Port Elizabeth, Eastern Cape police said, adding they suspected rivalry between
Brigadier Marinda Mills said the looting of spaza shops would not be tolerated.
“Strong police action is promised against those who were responsible, for this cowardly and lawless deed.”
She said it was not known what the motivation for the attacks were but business rivalry between local and Somali shop owners were mentioned as a possible cause.
All police stations in the Motherwell and Mount Road clusters had been put on high alert and officers were placed on standby for immediate mobilisation, Mills said.
Police were encouraging all possible role-players such as councillors and community and business structures to meet urgently, in order to find a peaceful resolution.
Acting Provincial Commissioner Noma-Lady Dlani said: “I am making a call on the communities of Motherwell and KwaDwesi, not to allow this brutal infringement of human rights to take place in their midst, and to come forward with information that will assist the police to bring these perpetrators of violence to book”.—Sapa. .