'Place foreigners in camps'

The Greater Gauteng Business Forum said foreign-owned shops were bad for SA’s economy.

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

JOHANNESBURG - The Greater Gauteng Business Forum on Tuesday denied that its members were mobilising to take part in xenophobic attacks in three Johannesburg townships.

But the group said foreign-owned shops were bad for South Africa's economy.

Over the last few weeks, shops were looted in Diepsloot, Sebokeng and Orange farm in Gauteng.

Dozens of people were also arrested.

The forum's Tshwane chairperson Mpane Baloyi said they do not want foreigners in townships.

"Our government should stop issuing asylum to these people [foreigners]; they should rather place them in camps. We don't want them on our streets, not because we hate them, but due to economic space. You have to understand unemployment is very high in South Africa."

Baloyi said communities were boiling with anger and government should intervene before attacks spill over into a war.

Meanwhile, the families of the two Zimbabwean men murdered in Diepsloot at the weekend said they were struggling to raise funds for their funerals.

The killings, allegedly committed by a Somali shop owner, triggered a spate of attacks on shops belonging to foreign nationals.

Police arrested 45 men after more than 30 shops were looted in the northern Johannesburg township.

The Movement for Democratic Change (MDC)'s Innocence Jeke has been in contact with both families.

"The families are not coping at all."

The Somali shop owner appeared in court earlier on Tuesday.

At the same time, government condemned the attacks calling them "pure criminal activity."