JUST IN: Fourth person shot dead in Joburg during xenophobic attacks on foreign shop owners

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Police were on Friday still trying to identify a woman from Tshepisong‚ west of Johannesburg‚ who was shot dead during looting at a foreign-owned shop.

"We still don't know who she is. We are waiting for her family to come forward‚" said Lieutenant Colonel Lungelo Dlamini.

The woman is believed to have been among a crowd that was looting a shop on Wednesday night when a shot was fired.

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Dlamini said no arrests had been made.

She is the fourth person to be killed this week in the unrest that erupted in several Gauteng townships following allegations that foreign-owned shops were selling fake or expired goods.

Three people were killed in Soweto earlier this week, since then more foreign-owned shops are closing their doors, fearing further looting and violence.

Prior to the attacks‚ the Health Ministry announced it was looking into the allegations after videos and pictures of the allegedly spoilt food were circulated on social media.

Law-enforcement authorities have been conducting raids in some areas to seize goods for testing.

Twenty-seven people were arrested for among others murder, attempted murder, possession of unlicensed firearms and public violence. Some of those under attack took cover at the local police station with what they could salvage.

Elizabeth Qayiso’s grandson Banele, was one of the victims of Wednesday’s attacks. He was in a spaza shop buying a few items when locals stormed it. Violence broke out and he was shot dead.

“My heart is so sore, I feel like screaming. At first, I was in a state of shock, now I feel like screaming, I could not believe it I thought he would walk in the door any minute, but he is gone,” says Qayiso.

Innocent Langa’s family is equally distraught. He was shot in the head and is still fighting for his life in hospital. His aunt, Nomusa Langa says she was told Innocent was coerced by a group of friends to join in the looting.

“They said that he was shot in the back (of the head) and the bullet lodged in the brain. Doctors have asked us to take a decision on whether to switch off the machines,” says Langa.

As mop-up operations continue, both local and foreign shop owners are counting their losses. While shops remain closed, there is fear and uncertainty as to whether the violence will continue.

Those arrested will appear in court on Friday.


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