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'Somali shop owners being targeted in Khayelitsha'

Police are investigating the fatal shooting of a Somali shopkeeper during a suspected robbery in Khayelitsha's Site C.

FILE: Picture: Masa Kekana/EWN.

CAPE TOWN - The Somali Association of South Africa says Somali shop owners are being deliberately targeted in Khayelitsha.

Police are investigating the fatal shooting of a Somali shopkeeper during a suspected robbery in Khayelitsha's Site C on Monday.

Three Somali shop owners were shot and killed in separate incidents on the same night in the area on the second of February.

The Khayelitsha Development Forum warned against labelling those attacks xenophobic, saying it could also be opportunistic crime.

University of Cape Town Refugee Rights Unit attorney James Chapman says it's common for crimes like these to be explained away.

“It has been the practice often to try to explain away opportunistic crime. Police need to thoroughly investigate and not take off the table the possibility that it xenophobia.”

But the Somali Association's Western Cape director Abdi Kader Mohammed says at least 12 foreign shop owners have been killed in Khayelitsha and surrounding townships over the past two months.

“This issue has been going on for almost two months. It seems to me there is some organised crime in the area which is targeting only Somali shop owners.”

(Edited by Zamangwane Shange)

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