Somali shops in PE burnt and looted

School children pass by a looted shop owned by a Somali on May 28 2013 in Johannesburg. (Gallo)

School children pass by a looted shop owned by a Somali on May 28 2013 in Johannesburg. (Gallo)

Government repeatedly insisted that it does not identify the incidents as strictly xenophobic in nature. Somali nationals shops in Port Elizabeth, were looted and burnt at the weekend, Eastern Cape police said on Monday.

Brigadier Marinda Mills said at least ten shops were attacked.

"Two shops at Ntintili Street were looted and burnt and a vehicle which was parked outside the shop was set alight," said Mills.

Several other shops were targeted on Sunday. Police had since moved some foreign nationals out of the area.

The attacks followed the arrest of a Somali man after he allegedly shot and killed a man outside a shop on Saturday evening.

"According to a witness there was an argument between the suspect and the victim. The [police] arrested the suspect and the firearm used ... was recovered," said Mills.

The man was expected to appear in court soon.
Meanwhile, police had been deployed to patrol the area.

'Not xenophobic'
In May, foreigners were targeted during two incidents of violence in Gauteng, which saw their businesses attacked and looted.

Several foreign-owned shops in Orange Farm and nearby Sedibeng were looted during service delivery protests. Two Zimbabweans were shot dead, allegedly by a Somali shopkeeper after an apparent argument.

The Somali shopkeeper (39) appeared in the Pretoria Magistrate's Court on charges of murder and attempted murder.

Government repeatedly insisted that it does not identify the incidents as strictly xenophobic in nature.

Residents began protesting and looted 19 foreign-owned shops after the men were killed. In both instances police were called in to control the situation with the use of rubber bullets and in some cases, teargas.

In Diepsloot, 47 people were arrested for public violence, housebreaking, and possession of unlicensed firearms.

A number of shops in the Extension Six area were looted. Several shop owners voluntarily removed their goods and locked their shops.

It is almost five years since a wave of xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals around the country left more than 50 people dead. – Additional reporting by Sapa

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