Scores of ‘anti-immigrant’ persons ransacked shops in Johannesburg overnight, police said today, February 27, in the latest burst of xenophobic attacks and looting incidents in South African popular cities.
According to Reuters, during the raids, doors and windows were smashed in, and food and other items were strewn on the floor in stores believed to belong to immigrants in Jeppestown, an area in the central business district.
“We’ve been stuck inside here until the police came,” Abdul Ebrahim, a Somali shop owner, said after emerging from his store, where a number of his colleagues had barricaded themselves.
“No one told us what they were looking for,” he added when asked why the mob had attacked his shop.
Meanwhile, a police spokesman Brigadier Mathapelo Peters revealed that one person was arrested, adding that “We are following up on leads and we are expecting to make more arrests.”
She said she did not know the nationalities of the shopkeepers and police were waiting for owners to come forward, so that they could open cases of violence and damage to property.
Anti-immigrant violence has flared sporadically in South Africa against a background of near-record unemployment, with foreigners being accused of criminal activity and taking jobs from locals.