Langlaagte: Two killed in Xenophobic looting incidents

One man's body was found outside a Somali store and the other in a nearby informal settlement.

A group of looters break into a foreign-owned store in White City, Soweto on 22 January 2014. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Following a week of violent attacks in and around Gauteng, police say looting has spread overnight to Langlaagte and Alexandra with two men killed.

A shop was looted and another set alight in Langlaagte, and when police arrived on the scene, they discovered two bodies.

A spaza shop was also burnt to the ground in Alexandra during the early hours of this morning.

Police say they discovered the bodies with gunshot wounds after a foreign-owned shop was looted and another burnt down.

The victims are believed to be South African.

The police's Solomon Makgale says officers were also called out to Alexandra this morning.

"There was an attempt to rob a spaza shop in Alexander and we managed to prevent that from happening. But a few minutes later, we were called again and we found a spaza shop on fire."

Meanwhile, the situation in Soweto and Kagiso remains calm and of 178 people who've been arrested since last week, 90 of them are expected to appear in court today.

Violence and looting broke out last week after the killing of a 14-year-old boy who was accused of trying to rob a foreign-owned shop in Soweto.

The shop owner allegedly shot and killed the teen and will appear in court soon.

Makgale say police will continue to keep an eye on reported hotspots.

"We maintain a very strong presence in all the affected areas and we will continue to monitor the situation until calm is completely restored."


Gauteng police on Sunday said a baby had been killed in Kagiso on Gauteng's West Rand when it was trampled by a mob of stampeding looters.

The baby was certified dead on the scene by paramedics.

The chaos, which has since spread to Diepsloot and Kagiso has now left five people dead, including a 61-year-old man.

Over 120 people have been arrested.


Gauteng Premier David Makhura says he stands in solidarity with foreign shop owners.

Makhura spoke to immigrants in Mayfair on Saturday. He says everyone who lives in this country legally should be respected.

"You country of origin doesn't matter. As long as you have come into our country lawfully, legally, you live and breathe, you wake up following the laws of our country, we will respect you."

Hundreds of foreign nationals have taken refuge in Mayfair following the Soweto unrest.

Foreign shop owners in the township say returning to their home countries is not an option.

They say they've built better lives for their families here in South Africa.

A man from the Arab Migrant Community has a message for the people of Soweto.

"We would like to apologise to South Africans and Sowetans."

He says the his community is willing to work together with community leaders to end the recent violence.

"We're here to live together. We come in peace back to Soweto."

Some foreign business owners say although they've been affected by the attacks, they're willing to forgive the people, go back and start afresh.


At the same time, a civil society group says it's worrying and perplexing as to why government refuses to acknowledge that xenophobia remains a problem in the country.

The African Diaspora Forum has written an open letter to President Jacob Zuma raising concerns over the recent spate of violence in Soweto and surrounding areas.

Authorities haven't labelled the violence as xenophobia-related.

The forum's Jean-Pierre Lukamba says government needs to do more to ease tensions.

"We are saying that they must take a robust measure to make sure the attacks stop."