Monday February 6, 2017
Three Somali nationals have been shot and killed in front of their shops in separate attacks at Site C in Khayelitsha. Picture: Ayanda Ndamane/Cape Argus
Cape Town – Do not classify robberies targeted at Somali-owned businesses as xenophobic attacks, the Khayelitsha Development Forum (KDF) has urged.
This is after three Somali shopkeepers were murdered in separate incidents in Khayelitsha since Thursday, bringing to at least 11 the number of Somali citizens killed in just over a month.
Police spokesperson Noloyiso Rwexana confirmed Somali men were killed last Thursday.
“At 9:45pm a 27-year-old man was shot and killed outside his shop in Site C, and at 9:50pm a 22-year-old man was shot and killed in his shop also in Site C. At around the same time a 28-year-old man was shot and killed at a shop in Solomon Tshuku Street Site C,” she said.
Rwexana said the motive was yet to be determined and no arrests had been.
KDF chairperson Ndithini Tyhido said armed robberies in Site C were spiralling out of control.
“We condemn the killing of Somali shopkeepers in Khayelitsha. These killings should not be seen as xenophobic attacks as it gives criminals an opportunity to hide away from these acts of criminality and makes it appear as though it is the community acting up,” he said.
Tyhido said most shops in Khayelitsha were owned by Somalis.
Last week, the Cape Argus reported that at least eight Somali traders had been killed between mid-December 2016 and the end of last month.
Abdi Alas Gure of the Save Somali Community had said it appeared that their “brothers” who owned businesses in the township were being victimised.
“We feel like we are under attack. Our traders are now fearful to even step outside their shops. We are not sure what the motive is, but it is a big concern for us all,” he said.
On Sunday, Gure said there was a growing concern about the safety of his fellow nationals in Khayelitsha.
“We don’t have a solution to this. We don’t know how we can keep safe, and everyone is worried.”
He said a meeting was scheduled for Monday to meet with the head of at the Site B police station, to get an update on the various murder investigations and to discuss protection for Somali shop-owners in Khayelitsha.
Some Somali-owned businesses came under attack after an incident two weeks ago when a 7-year-old was shot dead and two men wounded during a business robbery in Site C.
Tyhido urged community members to report crime. “We call for maximum vigilance of all businesses in Khayelitsha and for community members to assist,” he said.
Anyone with information can call Crime Stop at 08600 10111 or SMS Crime Line 32211.