22 Jan 2015 12:30pm
MORE POLICE SENT TO SOWETO
Reinforcements have been sent to Soweto to control violence and looting, the Gauteng provincial police commissioner said on Thursday.
"More reinforcement has been sent into the area of Soweto. I am confident that the situation is under control and has been stabilised," Lt-Gen Lesetja Mothiba told reporters in Johannesburg.
Eighty-one foreign-owned shops had been looted since Monday, he said.
An operations centre had been created to co-ordinate the police's operations in the area.
Police were working with community policing forums and other government leaders to try and calm the situation.
The looting of foreign shops started on Monday after 14-year-old Mthetheleli Siphiwe Mahori was shot dead, allegedly by a foreign shop owner in Snake Park.
"The challenge SAPS is having is these are informal shops and we don't know where they are located. We only act on information. Some are located in houses.
"We react when we get information that a shop is being looted."
Many foreigners had left the area for their own safety, he said.