Shop owners say they received threats before Yeoville Market fire

More than 15 shops were set alight on Monday night. It's alleged the fire could have been started by members of the Dudula Movement.

Shops in Yeoville were gutted by a fire alleged to be ignited by members of the Dudula Movement on 21 June 2022. Picture: Dominic Majola/Eyewitness News

JOHANNESBURG - Gauteng police on Wednesday said had launched an inquiry into the fire that gutted parts of the popular Yeoville Market in Johannesburg.

More than 15 shops were set alight on Monday night into Tuesday morning. It's alleged the fire could have been started by members of the Dudula Movement.

Shop owners said they received verbal threats from the movement last week and were told that if they did not leave, their shops would be burned down.

"I don't know what to do, everything is burned, I don't know what to do. I'm finished," said a devastated shopkeeper.

"You say you don't want us, you don't want a foreigner here. We closed the market and they come back. They said they are going to burn the market. This is terrible but there is nothing we can do; anything can happen at any time," said another shop owner.

Police said they received an anonymous call informing them that the Yeoville Market was on fire.

"On arrival at the market, we found that firefighters were already there. The cause of the fire cannot be confirmed at this stage, but we are busy with our investigations," said spokesperson Mavela Masondo.