Kgomotso Phooko
2 minute read
22 Jun 2022
10:09 am

Police on the hunt for suspects responsible for Yeoville market fire

Kgomotso Phooko

The Yeoville market was gutted by Fire on Monday on what is believed to be a xenophobic attack.

Emilie Luvadiokueno from Kinshasa, Republic of Congo (DRC) sitting on what is left from her shop. Photo: Daily Maverick

The police are looking for a group responsible for looting and burning down shops belonging to foreign nationals in Yeoville market, Johannesburg on Monday night.

The shop owners accused the Operation Dudula movement of being responsible for torching their shops, due to the group’s anti-foreigner sentiment.

The shop owners told Eyewitness News that they had received threats from Operation Dudula three days prior to the fire.

They said the movement wanted the foreign national traders to hand over their shops to South Africans.

Witnesses said on Monday night they say saw a group of men walking down Rockey Street in Yeoville, carrying what they believe to be lit petrol bombs.

The threats had led to the market being closed on 11 and 12 June.

“Last week, they said they don’t want foreigners here and we said ‘no problem’ and closed the market, and they came back and threatened to set the market alight,” said a shop owner.

The foreign nationals said all they wanted to do was make an honest living and they were hurt by the xenophobic attacks.

Gauteng police spokesperson Mavela Masondo said they received a call saying the Yeovile market was ablaze.

“On arrival at the market, the police found firefighters busy extinguishing about five stalls that were burning,” said Masondo.

He said the cause of the fire is unknown at this stage.

Speaking to the Daily Maverick, the spokesperson of Operation Dudula, Zandile Dubula said the information she received said the fire was caused by a faulty heater.

“If they have proof (of arson), they need to bring it forward. We at Operation Dudula do not promote criminality. So if it’s one of our members, then we will let the law take its course,” said Dubula.

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