South Africa: Rioters burn mosque, loot Pakistani shops

Giyani - Limpopo Province. This week, South Africa has been gripped by protests.

Hassan Isilow - JOHANNESBURG, South Africa (AA) - Rioters protesting against the murder of two locals allegedly killed by foreign nationals have burnt a temporary mosque and looted shops in the town of Giyani in the northern Limpopo province, a community leader told Anadolu Agency.

Shoeb Ahmed, chairman of the Giyani Business Forum, said angry residents looted several Pakistani-owned shops on Thursday night and partially burned a temporary community mosque.

According to Ahmed, residents claimed that the Pakistani traders had murdered the two men, after they attempted to use fake receipts to collect goods from their store.

“The kitchen area and carpets of the mosque were completely razed. But community members managed to extinguish the fire,” Ahmed said by telephone from Giyani, some 420 kilometers (260miles) north of Johannesburg.

He said the mosque was being used temporarily and a new one was being built nearby.

“The new mosque was not damaged,” he said adding that the foreign community in the area was currently in shock despite police restoring calm.

This is the first time that a mosque has been attacked during a riot in South Africa’s history.

Giyani police were unavailable for comment.

This week South Africa has been gripped by numerous protests in townships in the capital Pretoria after the ruling African National Congress made a decision to replace the city mayor.

Twenty-onebuses were set aflame and over 100 shops looted in four days of violence which began Monday.


 

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