Somali shop owner appears in court for murder
Alodixashi Sheik Yusuf is accused of murdering 14-year-old Soweto teen Siphiwe Mahori.
JOHANNESBURG - A foreign shop owner accused of killing a Soweto teenager on Wednesday pleaded not guilty to all charges in the Protea Magistrates Court.
It is alleged 14-year-old Siphiwe Mahori and a group of friends tried to break into Somali shop owner Alodixashi Sheik Yusuf's shop in January.
The boy's death resulted in widespread looting in Soweto and other areas.
Magistrate Herman Badenhorst told Yusuf he faced serious charges and his refugee status had to be validated before he could make a decision on his bail application.
The shop owner claimed a gun fell in his shop while people were trying to break into his store.
He adds he fired several shots but wasn't aware that he had wounded anyone until authorities had arrived.
Yusuf told the court he has been in South Africa for nine years and had no assets in his home country of Somalia.
Mahori's family did not attend Wednesday's proceedings.
Hundreds of foreign shop owners were forced to flee the township to places of safety after their shops were looted and vandalised.
The looting and violence claimed six lives, including that of a baby.
Several shop owners in Soweto previously told government they didn't want foreign business owners to return to the area as business was booming without them.
Small Business Development Minister Lindiwe Zulu and members of her parliamentary committee met with owners in Soweto and Kagiso on Monday to listen to their grievances.
The committee is yet to release an action plan to help integrate foreign shop owners back into the community.
Video: SA spaza owners want foreign business gone.