Toll from Soweto clashes rises to four

Although foreign business owners were the target of the violence and looting, no foreign nationals were killed.

File: Some residents want all foreign-owned businesses to close shop and leave the area.

AFP

SOWETO - The death toll from rioting and looting targeting foreign-owned businesses in Soweto earlier this week has risen to four, police said on Friday.

Parts of the sprawling area of more than one million people erupted into violence on Wednesday after a foreign business owner allegedly shot a suspected robber.

"Four people have died and 27 people have been arrested in the township," police spokesman Lungelo Dlamini told AFP.

"The fourth person, a woman, was shot and killed at Tsepisong, West Rand."

The toll initially given by police was two.

READ: Soweto on edge after three die in clashes

Dlamini confirmed that, although foreign business owners were the target of the violence and looting, no foreign nationals were killed.

"All of the deceased were South Africans," he said. 

Mob attacks are a worry for police, who "are concerned about violence as well as (about) community members who are taking law into their own hands," he said.

Tensions in the past months have been mounting over accusations foreign-owned stores have been selling expired food products.

The government on Wednesday issued a statement urging people to "refrain from taking the law into their own hands" over allegedly unsafe goods.