Foreign-owned stores in Soweto were ransacked by gatvol locals on Wednesday night. But the EFF have a spectacular theory on what sparked the looting.
A semblance of calm has been restored across Soweto on Thursday, after the region descended into chaos overnight. A plethora of foreign-owed stores were subject to widespread looting, as furious locals targeted the immigrant businesses of one of Gauteng’s largest towns.
Dobsonville, Snake Park, Rockville, Meadowlands, Zola, Jabulani and Protea Glen are some of the main areas that were picked off by looters. Police officers have been tasked with ensuring the foreign nationals subject to these attacks are escorted to safety, and away from any more potentially violent raids.
What sparked the Soweto looting?
Authorities in the province are still trying to establish to what extent the looting was fuelled by ill-sentiment towards foreigners, caused by the unrest witnessed in the Johannesburg CBD this month. A large crowd of foreign-business owners are said to have attacked the cops and put the city on lockdown earlier in August.
The police retaliated a week later, leading a city-wide raid that turfed-up everything from fake Nikes to an unholy amount of assault weapons. However, some organisations in Soweto believe the Wednesday night stealing spree was “an act of revenge” against immigrants who took part in that first round of protests.
EFF share “conspiracy theory” on the matter
That’s the theory the EFF are working with, and of course, they’ve got a few other things to add this power-keg. Through a statement released on Thursday, the Red Berets have slammed the South African government for “fuelling hatred and violence against foreign nationals”.
They go as far as to say the chaos is “state-sponsored”, blaming Johannesburg law enforcement for encouraging violence against foreigners.
“The EFF condemns the state-sponsored Afro-phobic war against black foreign nationals. It is a fact that the South African government are fuelling this hatred and violence. Unable to resolve poverty, inequality and unemployment, government is engaged in a programme of blaming black foreigners in Johannesburg.”
“This morning, the residents of Soweto woke up to loot the shops of foreign nationals, taking the lead from the state in Johannesburg. Black lives do not even matter for a government like South Africa. Police must not open their guns against vulnerable people.”
Police in Joburg also managed to conduct further raids in Hillbrow this week: Law enforcement officers confiscated an array of illicit items, including a plastic bag full of dagga. Xolani Fihla from the JMPD also told SABC News that items such as boxes of clothes, shoes, and bags were seized during the raid.