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Some foreign shop owners flee Soweto following violence, looting

Locals looted shops and attacked foreign businesses on Wednesday, accusing them of selling expired and fake food products.

A group of White City residents gathers near a news crew after some of the stores have been looted and two people killed. Picture: Katleho Sekhotho/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG – Some foreign shop owners have left Soweto in the wake of violent clashes that have claimed the lives of 3 people in White City and surrounding areas.

Locals looted shops and attacked foreign businesses on Wednesday, accusing them of selling expired and fake food products.

Twenty-seven people have been arrested in connection with the violence.

The police's Lungelo Dlamini says that more officers have been deployed to the area.

“Police deployment was increased following Wednesday’s violent protests and some of the shop owners were advised to close their shops early but we understand some of them packed the goods and left Soweto.”

The death of a 23-year-old man at the hands of a foreign shopkeeper whose store had come under attack escalated tensions on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, some foreign nationals have gathered at the Moroka police station carrying stock they managed to salvage while their shops were being looted.

A foreign businessman, who wants to stay anonymous, says he fears that more violent scenes could unfold.

“There is no law here. There is no government here. If there was a government here, they would control these things. I don’t know what type of freedom [this is].”

Police can be seen patrolling the streets.

Acting National Police Commissioner Lebeoana Tsumane has condemned the looting and violence in parts of Soweto.

(Edited by Leeto M Khoza)

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