'Attacks on Somali shops not xenophobic'

MEC Dan Plato says attacks on Somalis shops in Valhalla Park are not xenophobic.

A Valhalla Park tuck shop. Picture: Malungelo Booi/EWN

CAPE TOWN - Western Cape Community Safety MEC Dan Plato is convinced attacks on foreign-owned shops in Valhalla Park are not xenophobic.

Some Somali-owned spaza shops were looted and torched on Tuesday, allegedly by gangsters.

Reports suggest police stood by idly, while the violence ensued.

Plato said this cannot be tolerated.

"If we are not going to stop this kind of behaviour people will believe it is customary, that it is cosy to do things like that, and that message will spread to other areas as well - that is always the concern."

Valhalla Park Councillor Nas Abrahams said most of the Somalis who have been targeted have left.

"No one else's shops were looted except for the Somalians. I think the Somalis were the primary target."

Nine people have been arrested in connection with the violence.