The South African National Civic Organisation (Sanco) in Tshisaulu outside Thohoyandou in Limpopo, where residents have been protesting for the past two days, says some protesters “have criminal motives”.
Foreign nationals started removing stocks from their shops on Monday night after a shop belonging to a foreign national was looted.
A shop owner who spoke to the SABC says the situation is no longer safe for them.
He says they will only return to their businesses when the protests end.
Sanco chairperson Aaron Netshifhefhe says residents have genuine grievances, however, the protests are being hijacked by people with criminal motives.
“Yesterday, they looted one foreigner’s shop, but what we have discovered, most of them were not Tshisaulu people. They have some people from outside, who haven’t got the interest with our people. Our people were only trying the pass the message to the police that, ‘please, come and arrest the people who are killing the people here’. We have only heard that there’s only one house burnt at Mapate. They say there are two others.”
Residents earlier blockaded the Thohoyandou-Makhado road with stones and burning tyres in a protest over the murder of a woman. 21 residents have been arrested since the protest started in the area on Sunday.
Eleven of them have been granted bail.
The executive mayor of Vhembe district municipality in Limpopo, Tshitereke Matibe, was expected to meet with the residents of Tshisaulu outside Thohoyandou in a bid to end the public protest in the area. – SABC