Sasolburg unrest likened to xenophobic attacks

Foreign business owners whose shops were burnt down during Sasolburg protests have been left stranded.

Zio Cash & Carry in Sasolburg was looted by protesters on Monday 21 January 2013. Picture: iWitness/twitter

ZAMDELA - Foreign business owners whose shops were burnt down during protests in Sasolburg's Zamdela township have likened the attacks to xenophobic violence that rocked the country in 2008.

Their businesses were looted and set alight when residents took to the streets of Sasolburg on Sunday, over the proposed merger of two Free State municipalities.

Four people have died in this week's unrest and many others have been injured.

Police have also arrested some 256 people for a range of charges linked to the violence.

Micash Abram has been running a business in Sasolburg for over eight years.

On Thursday, he said the future was uncertain for him and his family, after they their only source of income was taken from them.

"I don't know what I'm going to do after this; they took everything.

"Who is going to help me?"

He said more than 200 businesses were destroyed in the township since residents went on the rampage.

Meanwhile, other businesses have started rebuilding, after they were emptied out and damaged during the violence.

More than 200 people are due to appear in the Sasolburg Magistrate's Court soon, on a range of charges.