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Tsakane learners loot spaza shops

Children bunked school and joined adults in Tsakane on Wednesday to loot foreign-owned spaza shops in the area.

The looting spree came after the death of a six-year-old Grade 1 learner, Refilwe Usman from Mandlethu Primary, who died after allegedly eating biscuits her father bought from a local tuckshop on Tuesday morning.

Two other learners from the school are in hospital after allegedly eating the same biscuits.

Ekurhuleni metro police spokesperson Thabiso Makgatho said learning and teaching were badly disrupted in the area as schoolchildren were among those looting spaza shops owned by foreign nationals.

“About 200 members of the community are currently looting spaza shops,” she said.

“Both the South African Police Service and the Ekurhuleni metro police are on the scene monitoring the situation.

“We are urging residents to refrain from looting and any form of criminal activities.”

The looting started on Tuesday night when residents broke into shops in different parts of the township. It worsened on Wednesday when schoolchildren joined in.

From Wednesday morning, residents blocked roads with burning tyres, rocks and stones so that motorists could not access the area.

Speaking to Scrolla.Africa the chairperson of the Pan African Student Movement of Azania in Tsakane, Shaun Kubeka, said the organisation supports the community and family in seeking justice for the learner.

“We disrupted teaching and learning to march to the Tsakane police station to demand answers from the station commander as to what decisions they have taken so far relating to the case,” he said.

“We are not in support of the looting of foreign-owned shops by the residents and some students as that is a form of gangsterism.”

Community leader Jabulani Nkosi said residents were tired of buying substandard food sold by foreign nationals.

“We always have to take back expired and fake food bought from their shops. The death of the six-year-old learner is the last straw, we can no longer tolerate them. They must leave,” he said.

“We gave them a chance to leave last night but they thought we were joking. We will make them leave if they don’t do that by themselves.”

Pictured above: Tsakane residents looting foreign-owned spaza shops.

Image source: Doreen Mokgolo