Foreigners return to Diepsloot

At least 60 shops were cleaned out last week after two Zimbabwean nationals were killed.

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

JOHANNESBURG - After packing up their stock and fleeing Diepsloot amid widespread looting and violence, foreign shop owners have now started reopening their businesses in the northern Johannesburg township.

At least 60 shops were cleaned out last week after two Zimbabwean nationals were killed - allegedly by a Somali man.

Broken doors and rubble left in this street from last week's protest have now been cleared and a sense of normality is slowly returning to this township.

Ethiopian shop owner Tasfaye Gabire says although he has lost most of his stock, he is confident his business will survive.

"We are starting to rebuild our businesses."

One resident says community patrollers have maintained a strong presence in the area.

"The looting stopped and police were visible."

Police say they have received information about who was behind the looting but the looted goods have not yet been recovered.

Last week, Gauteng Community Safety MEC Faith Mazibuko called on Diepsloot residents to end mob justice and refrain from committing revenge crimes.

Mazibuko met with both local and foreign community members following the murders of two Zimbabwean men which triggered three days of violent looting.

Mazibuko told residents to respect the rule of law.

Meanwhile, Justice Minister Jeff Radebe called the attacks against foreigners acts of criminality.

The attacks brought back memories of the xenophobic murders of more than 60 foreigners in 2008.

However, Radebe said the recent incidents were not xenophobia.