The shooting of a teenage boy allegedly by a foreign store owner has sparked violence in Soweto as tensions between locals and foreign nationals in the area came to a boil on Wednesday.
A second person has died in the unrest. Colonel Lungelo Dlamini told the Sowetan newspaper that one person was killed in White City and the other in Molofo.
“One was shot while the other had a stab wound,” he added.
Three suspects have been arrested for murder and twelve have been arrested for public violence, said member of mayoral committee for public safety in the City of Johannesburg Michael Sun,
“We are extremely concerned,” Sun added. “We also need to ensure that any enforcement of laws are done properly by the lawful law enforcement agencies
According to media reports, the store owner opened fire on people allegedly breaking into his business earlier on Wednesday, killing the teenager in the process. Media reports said that the community members made their way into the store to remove stock amid rampant claims of foreign store owners selling expired foods and items with fake labels on them.
The community responded to the death by looting the shop and assaulting the owners.
Police spokesperson Mpande Khoza told EWN: “We’ve opened a case of murder. No one has been arrested so far. The situation is very tense, and the police are in the area trying to monitor the situation.”
Police are currently patrolling the area to quell the violence and the looting of spaza shops.
This afternoon, I was notified of violent community unrest taking place in White City, Soweto.
It is believed that the cause of the violence was sparked by accusations that shop owners within the community had allegedly been selling counterfeit & expired goods to the community. pic.twitter.com/q3tDVqEwiJ
— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) August 29, 2018
This is a developing story and will be updated as more details emerge