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Somali man dies after shop torched

Storyline:National News

One of the two Somali shopkeepers set alight in their shop in Soshanguve has died of his injuries.

Ibrahim Rana, reported to have suffered 80 percent burns to his body, was admitted to the ICU unit at George Mukhari Hospital along with Ismail Ismail.

While seen as part of the xenophobic attacks, their landlord attributed the attack to criminality, saying those who set the store alight stole airtime, food and money.

A resident said police informed them on Sunday that Ismail had been discharged from hospital but Rana had succumbed to his injuries.

Meanwhile, in the quiet farmlands of Groot Drakenstein near Paarl, nine people were arrested following an attack on a Somali shopkeeper last week.

The accused, all South Africans from Mbekweni informal settlement appeared in the Paarl Magistrate’s Court and have been charged with assault, damage to property and theft after allegedly attacking the shopkeeper before ransacking the shop and fleeing with stolen goods.

In the past month mobs in KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng have targeted nationals from other African countries, leaving eight people dead.

Paarl deputy mayor Conrad Poole confirmed the incident in Groot Drakenstein, saying he and mayor Gesie van Deventer condemnded the attack.

Poole said it was the first time they had xenophobic attacks in Paarl and that the municipality was working closely with police to curb xenophobia.


Eden Davids, 35, who lives in Groot Drakenstein near Mbekweni said there has been an influx of foreigners over the past five years.

“Some to work on the farms, others set up shops. The tensions are growing because the locals blame foreigners for the lack of work. The real problems behind this tension is poverty and poor service.”

A source in Paarl said an argument ensued between the shopkeeper and a local resident on Wednesday.

“The customer left the shop but returned with a group of his friends. They attacked the shopkeeper and ransacked the shop. There was damage done inside the shop and lots of items were stolen.”