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45 people arrested in Diepsloot

Police are on guard after shops were looted and damaged overnight.

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

JOHANNESBURG - At least 45 people have been arrested in Diepsloot for looting and damaging shops.

Overnight violence also forced foreign business owners to flee for their safety.

The trouble began on Sunday night after two Zimbabwean men were shot dead by a Somali shopkeeper after allegedly trying to rob him.

Police carried out major operations on Monday night in which 38 people were arrested for public violence, three for house breaking and four for unlicensed firearms.

Police believe the arrests will help curb violence. They will also continue patrolling to keep the peace.

Meanwhile, only a few foreign shop owners still remain after majority fled.

A total of nine people will appear in court on Tuesday for public violence.

Police said the Somali shopkeeper who was arrested after the shooting will also appear in court.

DIEPSLOOT STILL VIOLENT

Residents in the township said they feared for their lives as tensions remained high.

A resident said all foreign shop owners were being targeted despite a heavy police presence.

"Some foreigners who left Diepsloot were stoned. There are mixed feelings among residents as some want them [foreigners] to stay while others say they [foreigners]don't employ locals."

An angry crowd also began verbally attacking the media for filming them looting.

The crowd ordered the media to leave and pelted a car with rocks. The crowd dispersed when police arrived to escort the media out.

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.