Gauteng province police officials announced on Sunday, September 2, that security forces conducted a series of raids in Soweto following recent violent looting in the area. According to the police, 22 firearms were recovered during the operations as well as goods stolen during the unrest on August 29. Over 27 suspects were also detained in Soweto, including three foreigners. Heightened security measures, including an increased police presence, is expected in Gauteng province in the coming days.
Xenophobic violence targeting immigrant-owned shops flared in Soweto, near Johannesburg, on August 29, resulting in the deaths of at least four people. The protests broke out over allegations that immigrant shop owners were selling expired food and counterfeit items. Immigrant-owned shops in Soweto have been periodically subjected to similar attacks in recent years.
Individuals in the Soweto area are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all demonstrations and sites of civil unrest as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.