LOCALS TURN ON SOMALIS AFTER BOY SHOT FOR 'THEFT'

Shabelle Media Network, 16 January 2008

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Mob justice against foreign nationals has reared its head again in the Eastern Cape. This time, at the holiday town of Jeffrey's Bay where the local community turned on a group of about 60 Somalis after a Somali shopkeeper allegedly shot dead a youth suspected of theft. The man, who was carrying an unlicensed firearm, will appear in court on Friday. In the meantime, his fellow countrymen have been left stranded. A 15-year-old boy was shot in the back after allegedly stealing a chicken from a Somali-owned shop. His death enraged locals, who turned on the East Africans. About 16 of their shops were looted and police have advised them to find alternative accommodation. "The community has warned them not to return. If they come back to the area, they would do so at their own risk because police have also warned them to stay away from the area," says Priscilla Naidu from the SAPS. The SA Human Rights Commission has condemned the incident, describing it as mob justice. It classifies it as xenophobia even though it was provoked, because it also affected other Somalis not linked to the shooting.