Relatives speak out after Langlaagte shooting

Mzoxolo Dlamini says his cousin wasn't looting but was caught in the crossfire.

A relative of one the men who was shot and killed in Langlaagte last night. Picture: Gia Nicolaides/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - Just days after widespread looting and vandalism in Soweto, calm appears to have been restored to the area.

More than 160 people were arrested last week when looters swept through the township, targeting foreign-owned shops.

Since then, more looting incidents have been reported in Langlaagte and Alexandra, with the death toll now at six.

The unrest began last Monday night after Siphiwe Mahori, accused of trying to rob a shop in Doornkop was shot, allegedly by a foreign business owner.

Nombuyiselo Nhlane says she had sent her son to a local spaza shop to buy a soft drink.

The family has denied that Mahori was attempting to rob a foreign-owned shop.


Relatives of one the men who was shot and killed in Langlaagte last night, say he wasn't looting but was caught in the cross fire during another violent attack.

Two people were shot and killed allegedly by a foreign businessman when his shop apparently came under attack by local community members.

Police have since seized a large quantity of looted goods at the nearby informal settlement.

Dozens of police officers raided shacks in the area and seized looted goods, many of the items with their price tags still attached.

Bags of maize, chips and crates of cool drinks were found hidden under beds, inside plastic containers and hidden in blankets.

There's still blood on the street from one of the victims, who was killed when a foreign businessman allegedly started shooting at community members.

Inside the informal settlement, in a small, dark shack, Mzoxolo Dlamini explains that his cousin was caught up in the violence last night.

"My brother was in the wrong place at the wrong time and the shop owner randomly opened fire so he was hit by a stray bullet."

Dlamini says the community believes the foreigner started firing randomly.

"Apparently the Pakistanis had already shot someone at the time, prompting retaliation from the community."

Residents say despite having a good relationship with the foreigners in the area, they now want them to leave the area.

Police say they will continue monitoring the area.

South Africa, with a population of about 50 million, is home to an estimated 5 million immigrants, some of whom are accused by local politicians and residents of taking jobs and services away from South Africans.

In 2008, more than 60 foreigners were killed in violence that analysts believe had its roots in tensions over a lack of jobs. South African unemployment is around 25 percent and youth joblessness is nearer 40 percent.


A Bangladeshi man, whose Soweto shop was looted last week, has told Eyewitness News he will try to rebuild his business, but doesn't know when he will feel safe enough to return.

In an emotional interview on Friday, shop owner Helal Uddin, said he had lost everything but most importantly his passport was missing.

Today, EWN tracked him down and visited his shop, where thousands of rands worth of stock was stolen.

EWN met Uddin in downtown Johannesburg and drove with him to his shop in Soweto.

There he explained how the looters broke in and emptied his shelves and ransacked a tiny back room he and another friend use as a bedroom.

Uddin says he has lost everything but today he's managed to find a pair of sneakers the looters missed and more importantly discovered that his passport is safe.

"I am so happy and lucky to have found my passport."

Returning to the area for the first time, the shop owner was greeted warmly by neighbours most of whom want to know when he'll be back.