Published On: Wed, Mar 1st, 2017

Four Somali shopkeepers murdered in South Africa

A Somali shopkeeper was shot dead during a suspected robbery in Site C Khayelitsha on Monday – bringing the number of foreign business owners killed in the area to four in less than a month.

Police spokesperson FC van Wyk said three armed suspects demanded money before they shot the man and took an undisclosed amount of cash, airtime and cigarettes.

He said the man was shot in the chest and the suspects fled the scene on foot.

According to police, the murder and robbery took place at about 11am.

The area’s ward councillor, Mlulami Mabhuti Velem, said crime was on the rise and asked for taxi drivers to assist law enforcement officers in the latest incident.

Velem said Site C had been quiet since the murders of Mahad Salaad Ahmed, 22, Muhuyadin Geedi Ali, 27, and Abdul Sallim, 28, who were shot dead earlier this month.

The three were killed within minutes of each other. One was shot while closing his shop for the evening, and the other two while inside their shops. A fourth man survived an attempt on his life.

“I was shocked to hear of this (latest) incident. It has been quiet since the shooting of those three people. It is a very sad state of affairs in Site C right now because even the ambulances need to be escorted when entering here. I was at the scene earlier and the police were busy with their investigation,” said Velem.

He said foreign shopkeepers were soft targets and that criminals in the area were keeping up with the latest trend and knew when to attack.

“Criminals in Khayelitsha know what is happening around the country and use that to commit these heinous crimes. We condemn the murder in strongest terms. The fact of the matter is that the majority of our spaza shops are foreign-owned, particularly by Somalis. Criminals know who to target,” said KDF chairperson Ndithini Tyhido.

The area has been on a knife-edge since the murder of 7-year-old Alizwa Makhanda, allegedly by a Somali shopkeeper.

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