Soweto shooting: Somali shopkeeper back in court on Friday

Sheik Yusuf is accused of killing Siphiwe Mahori (14) in Snake Park, Soweto last month.

The spaza shop in Snake Park where Siphiwe Mahori was shot and killed has been bricked up by its owners. Picture: Dineo Bendile/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG - A foreign shop owner accused of killing 14-year-old Siphiwe Mahori in Soweto will only know if his bid for bail is successful at the end of this week.

Sheik Yusuf described his version of events to the Protea Magistrates Court on Wednesday, pleading not guilty to all charges.

It's alleged Mahori was part of a group of people who tried to break into Yusuf's store last month when he was shot and killed.

The shooting sparked widespread looting in Soweto and spread to other parts of Gauteng, forcing other foreign shop owners to flee and take refuge at a place of safety.

In his bid to secure bail, Yusuf told the court he's been in this country for nearly 10 years, has no assets in Somalia and is not a flight risk.

The state however is opposing bail, saying Yusuf must be kept behind bars for his own safety.

The divorced father of one says he fired warning shots through a roller door and a roof to disperse the crowd and did not intend to kill anyone.

He also says the gun he used was not his, but was dropped on the floor by one of the gang trying to break into his shop.

Magistrate Herman Badenhorst says the Somali shop owner's refugee status has to be verified before he can make any decision about bail.

The accused will be back in court on Friday.

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