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Councillor condemns murders, looting

Diepsloot councillor Abram Mabuke called on police to do everything they can to recover stolen stock.

Two Zimbabweans were shot dead by a Somalian shopkeeper in Diepsloot, Johannesburg. Picture: Govan Whittles/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - A Diepsloot ward councillor on Monday described the murder of two Zimbabwean men as shocking and labelled the subsequent looting of several shops as violent.

A Somali national allegedly shot and killed the pair, causing widespread protests in the northern Johannesburg township.

Police opened fire on hundreds of residents on Sunday evening.

At least 19 shops were looted and almost completely destroyed during the demonstration.

Councillor Abram Mabuke said he was taken aback after he heard about the shooting and was saddened by the community's reaction.

"Action leads to reaction. Community members are angry about what happened, which is why most of the shops have been looted."

Mabuke has called on the police to do everything they can to ensure they recover the stolen goods.

Meanwhile, several foreign shop owners have started packing up their stock and leaving the township.

But one man said he is hopeful the looters won't return.

"I don't think they'll get anything because they've already taken groceries."

There has been a heightened police presence in Diepsloot since Monday morning.

Residents continue to gather in small groups, but the situation remains relatively calm.

The police's Lungelo Dlamini said they will be providing shop owners with an escort out of the township if they wish to collect their remaining stock.

"Those who want to move out will be assisted out of the area."