Xenophobic Looting Spreads to Langlaagte and Alexandra

Gia Nicolaides and Thando Kubheka, Eyewitness News, January 25, 2015

Residents at an informal settlement in Langlaagte have told Eyewitness News how a foreign shop owner randomly started shooting at community members after he suspected that someone had stolen from his store.

Gauteng police say xenophobic looting has spread overnight to Langlaagte and Alexandra.

Police discovered the bodies of two South African men with gunshot wounds in Langlaagte late last night after a foreign-owned shop was looted and another burnt down.

There’s nothing left inside the paza shop, just a fridge that’s been thrown out and most of the goods in the store burnt.

Blood can also be seen on the street where police discovered one of the two bodies.

The other was found in an informal settlement just across the road.

A man says the foreign shop owner started shooting, saying he’d been robbed.

“I asked him ‘why you killed my brother? there is the blood lying there,’ when I came nearby, he shot at me also.”

Police say they’re investigating a case of arson and murder.

The police’s Solomon Makgale says officers were also called out to Alexandra this morning.

“There was an attempt to rob a spaza shop in Alexandra and we managed to prevent that from happening. But a few minutes later, we were called again and we found a spaza shop on fire.”

Meanwhile, the situation in Soweto and Kagiso remains calm and of 178 people who’ve been arrested since last week, 90 of them are expected to appear in court today.

A civil society group says it’s worrying and perplexing as to why government refuses to acknowledge that xenophobia remains a problem in the country.

The African Diaspora Forum has written an open letter to President Jacob Zuma raising concerns over the recent spate of violence in Soweto and surrounding areas.

Violence and looting broke out in Soweto last week and spread to other areas in Gauteng after the killing of a 14-year-old boy who was accused of trying to rob a foreign-owned shop.

The shop owner allegedly shot and killed the teen and will appear in court soon.

Authorities haven’t labelled the violence as xenophobia-related.

The forum’s Jean-Pierre Lukamba says government needs to do more to ease tensions.

“We are saying that they must take a robust measure to make sure the attacks stop.”

At the same time, foreign shop owners in the township say returning to their home countries is not an option.

They say they’ve built better lives for their families here in South Africa.

A man from the Arab Migrant Community has a message for the people of Soweto.

“We would like to apologise to South Africans and Sowetans.”

He says the his community is willing to work together with community leaders to end the recent violence.

“We’re here to live together. We come in peace back to Soweto.”

Some foreign business owners say although they’ve been affected by the attacks, they’re willing to forgive the people, go back and start afresh.

Gauteng Premier David Makhura says he stands in solidarity with foreign shop owners.

Makhura spoke to immigrants in Mayfair on Saturday. He says everyone who lives in this country legally should be respected.

“You country of origin doesn’t matter. As long as you have come into our country lawfully, legally, you live and breathe, you wake up following the laws of our country, we will respect you.”

Hundreds of foreign nationals have taken refuge in Mayfair following the Soweto unrest.


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  • pcmustgo

    Yeah, I remember the riots in SA they had against other black african immigrants, understandable given the high unemployment rate there. These riots against asian shop keepers just seem like black jealousy to me. I know the ANC gov’t isn’t as good as the old gov’t in maintaining law and order and immigration control.

  • Frank_DeScushin

    When blacks object to immigration the media generally either doesn’t cover it or presents them as noble to prevent outsiders from colonizing or appropriating their land. When whites object to immigration the media is sure to cover it and present them as evil xenophobic racists.

    • archer

      Most of the blacks in SA now are in fact immigrants, what is now SA was not heavily populated by natives when the country was founded.

      • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

        Yeah they all came because they needed jobs, which the white Europeans created for them.

  • MekongDelta69

    blacks vs. mooz-lims in a formerly White-run country.

    Not too ironic (and pathetic), is it?

    • Bryce Armstrong

      Something for us to look forward to.

      • propagandaoftruth

        Sounds more opportunistic than xenophobic.

      • Anna Tree

        – Sounds more thievophobic than xenophobic.

        – Blacks vs. Muslims is already happening in some “French” neighborhoods.

    • dukem1

      I;d put my money on the mooz-lims.

  • Mary

    Violent and uncivilized immigrants? Good thing they’re there, since South Africa definitely could use a little more mayhem and ethnic conflict. Entirely too peaceful there now.

  • dd121

    Whites in Rhodesia and South Africa may be approaching the end game of their genocide in Africa. Do you suppose all these liberal aid organizations will go to their rescue?

    • Whitetrashgang

      WT had their chance,it was called WW2.I myself have replaced Jesus with Adolf,I sleep a little better at night thank you.

    • dukem1

      Probably not.

  • Kenner

    ‘Informal Settlements’ — We have Section 8, they have District 9.

    • Speedy Steve

      I was wondering what that euphemism meant. It’s shanty town.

    • Sisu

      I’ll take the space aliens any day over the blacks. If only we could keep blacks in fenced in compounds, ( other than expensive prisons.)

      • Kenner

        Without them, we have to fence ourselves in.

  • It’s not so much “xenophobic looting” as it is a matter of South African blacks stealing from stores run by black immigrants to South Africa.

    • Usually Much Calmer

      “Why do you rob banks?”
      “Because that’s where the money is.”

    • Anna Tree

      Stealing is often a “hate” crime against richer people…

  • Bon, From the Land of Babble

    “You country of origin doesn’t matter. As long as you have come into our country lawfully, legally, you live and breathe, you wake up following the laws of our country, we will respect you.”

    Unless you’re White.

    After a fight with the robbers, who were just too many for him, he was finally on his knees. The lawn outside the dairy is where David breathed his last breath. (Bernadette testified in court that two shots were fired through his brain while he sat on his knees in front of his murderers).

    The community was furious. Lt-Gen Zukisa Mbombo, Commissioner of Police for the North West Province, said at the time that ‘the police would not stop their search until the suspects were behind bars.

    Two of the five farm-attackers went on trial. They were acquitted and can never be tried again, because somehow, the SA Police Service (SAPS) ‘had lost the forensic evidence’. The widow testified that she was ‘treated like a criminal by the court’ . She was never informed of her rights as a witness before or during the trial… Now, the widow often sees her husband’s murderers in town, she testified to the South African Human Rights Commission on 15 September 2014.

    “What will happen when your future majority refuses to abide by court rulings? — as in Zimbabwe. What will happen when the new majority says the judges are racists, and that they refuse to acknowledge “white man’s justice”? What will happen when the courts are filled with their people, or their sympathizers?”

    A Warning for America from South Africa

  • bubo

    Something off about this one. Four family members brutally attacked with an axe yet one son survives with a few bruises? Seems a bit odd.

  • Sisu

    “…under any known laws.” I beg to differ, blacks rule by the law of the jungle.

  • Americaandthewestshouldbewhite

    Good old South Africa descending into Mayhem and chaos. I bet Mandela, the semites Joe Slovo and Helen Suzman and other traitors are happy with their handiwork.