So far 178 arrested in Soweto looting spree


Looters make off with goods from a foreign-owned spaza in Soweto on 22 January 2015.

JOHANNESBURG - The number of people arrested in connection with looting of foreign owned shops in Soweto has risen to 178, national police said on Sunday.

"So far, 178 suspects have been arrested...Six of them are juveniles and have been released into the custody of their parents pending their appearance in court," said Lt-General Solomon Makgale.

He said out of the 178 arrested, 83 have already appeared in the Protea Magistrate&39;s Court and their cases have been postponed to January 28 and 29. They remain in custody.

He said the remaining 95, including the juveniles would appear in the Kagiso and Protea Magistrate&39;s Courts on Monday.

They have been charged with public violence and possession of suspected stolen property.

He said the weekend was relatively calm in all affected areas with no major incidents to report.

"Although the situation is calm at the moment the police will keep an eye on things so as to ensure quick response should any acts of criminality be reported."

Police would be deployed in all affected areas until calm was fully restored.

"We also encourage members of the public to report incidents of looting and also for shop owners not to take the law into their own hands," he said.

Looting swept over parts of Soweto after a teenager was shot dead last Monday, allegedly by a foreign shopkeeper, in Snake Park near Dobsonville.

Residents sprang into revenge mode, looting shops belonging to foreigners. This spread to other parts of Soweto and by Thursday spilled over to Kagiso in the West Rand and Sebokeng in the Vaal.

Three people were killed , including a baby on it&39;s mothers body, who died in the melee.

A shop owner accused of killing the teenager is due back in court on Monday, while others arrested on charges of public violence are also expected to appear.

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