JOHANNESBURG - An Ethiopian shopkeeper in the Johannesburg CBD says that police fired live ammunition during Thursday’s clashes.
Violence broke out during a raid on illegal and counterfeit goods in Johannesburg.
Police said they retreated to avoid having to use live ammunition.
Tadesse Yemane, who is an Ethiopian shopkeeper, says that even though some foreign shopkeepers are simply trying to make a living, all foreigners are painted with the same brush - which he says is unfair.
“We don’t want any confrontation with police, law enforcement agency or anybody who has interest in conducting a search and seizure [operation] but we want it to be in a lawful manner, we want them to follow proper procedure and not to proceed with violence,” Yemane said.
On selling counterfeit products, Yemane says that only a few foreign shopkeepers sell counterfeit products.
Police and Gauteng's Safety and Security MEC have condemned the incident.
They both warned that Home Affairs and the Department of International Relations would be roped in to deal with the matter.
DA Councillor and Johannesburg Finance MMC Funzela Ngobeni says the city is not properly equipped to deal with lawlessness.
“You can’t build a successful city on the back of lawlessness, we need to make sure that we bring the law back into the City of Johannesburg,” Ngobeni said.
“What happened yesterday demonstrates the lawlessness that we have in the city.
“We are very limited in enforcing some of the laws, we are recruiting 1,500 JMPD officers which is almost double what the current force is.”