Foreign-owned shops looted and set alight in Hillbrow

A shop owned by foreign national in Hillbrow was looted allegedly by residents accusing foreigners in the area of selling drugs in their neighbourhood.

 

About five suspects were arrested and more arrests are expected soon by the Hillbrow police after shops were looted and burned in the area.

According to the spokesperson for the Hillbrow Police Station, Sergeant Mduduzi Zondo, about 20 shops were affected including liquor outlets.

Read: VIDEO: Cellphone thief gets beaten in Hillbrow

The incident was sparked by alleged drug dealing in the area with residents accusing foreigners of selling drugs in their area.

According to Zondo, it all started after locals held a gathering at the nearby park. “Soon afterwards, the shops, which are owned by mostly Nigerian immigrants, were looted and some even set alight.

“The most affected is a tavern of which the community looted almost everything and set it alight. The incident started during the day and the police were called in to contain the situation, and they did and things got back to normal. However, later in the evening, they [community member] started again and they even forcefully broke into the shops which were closed and looted the stock including alcohol.”

Zondo said a police operation was conducted on 23 October in which five people were arrested and evidence of stock was recovered in their residential flats.

Read: Johannesburg Flying Squad arrests a suspect in Hillbrow for business robbery

He added that the police are still monitoring the situation and more operations are expected to take place, which means more arrests are imminent. “An investigation is still continuing and those who have been arrested will be appearing soon in the Johannesburg Magistrate’s Court to face charges of public violence.

“We have also increased our police visibility in the area to ensure that this incident does not repeat itself.”

Police urge the community to refrain from such ill-disciplines, warning anyone who intends to do so that they will face the wrath of the law.

Details: Mduduzi Zondo 082 850 7974.

Do you think looting shops will solve drug and substance abuse in the Joburg CBD? Share your views by posting in the North Eastern Tribune Facebook page.

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