A foreign national who owns shops in Tshwane has spoken of his loss at the hands of looters who set his property on fire in the CBD on Wednesday.
Fuad Mohammed, who owned two shops, said he was targeted by people who stormed his shop before ransacking it.
Earlier on Wednesday, groups of people believed to be mainly taxi drivers clashed with foreign nationals who they’d accused of dealing in drugs.
The protest appears to have been sparked by the killing of a taxi driver in the CBD on Tuesday.
Mohammed said he was accused of peddling drugs but that was not true.
After firing rubber bullets and stun grenades earlier, the situation remained calm.
‘TAKEN BY SUPRISE’ BY VIOLENCE
The Tshwane Metro Police Department (TMPD) said it was taken by surprise by the violence in the city centre.
Authorities have now managed to disperse the crowd and firefighters are still putting out several blazes after a number of foreign-owned shops were looted and set alight.
TMPD’s Isaac Mahamba admitted that the violence took them by surprise.
“We’re depending 100% on the intelligence of the SAPS. So, we planned as TMPD according to whatever information we had but we are surprised again by the behaviour of the taxi operators. If they are aggrieved by the death, then why are they turning the attention into looting? Why are they diverting media attention to foreigners?”
Mahamba said they were communicating with taxi drivers to find a lasting solution.
In the meantime, he said the area would remain closed to traffic.
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