News agency, Cape Town, South Africa
Sunday May 20th 2018

Somalian shot dead in Du Noon – police downplay xenophobia fears

A Somali teenager was shot dead and a relative critically injured when three men robbed their Du Noon shop of an undisclosed amount of airtime and R500 on Sunday afternoon before fleeing on foot. The latest killing comes as the last of the City’s three refugee safety sites were closed on Friday last week, forcing refugees to go back to the communities which attacked them earlier this year.

Ali Ossuman, 19, returned to Du Noon a month after the xenophobic attacks in May, but was shot in the head at about 5.30pm in his shop, the White House Spaza shop on Thandabanthu Street.

Ahmed Husen Hasan, 19, was hit in the face, the bullet grazing his cheek, he is recovering at Tygerberg hospital.

Police arrived about ten minutes after the shooting and cordoned off the area as hundreds of local residents and shocked Somali’s from the surrounding area rushed to the scene.

A neighbour living adjacent to Ossuman’s shop, who did not want to be named for fear of reprisals from the suspects, described the crime as “horrific”.

She said she was in her house when she heard several gun shots and she ran out the back door where she saw three men running away. She said Ossuman was lying on the floor of his shop with blood bubbling from his mouth and a stream of blood running from his forehead.

She said Ossuman died in front of her eyes.

“I heard gun shots and I came out. I saw the Somalian …foam coming out of his mouth, his head covered in blood…the other one was critically injured.”

Ossuman’s brother, Said Ali, 28, who was also in the shop but escaped the bullets, said three men came to the shop as if they wanted to buy goods and Ossuman went to the counter to see what they wanted.
He said he then heard gunshots and dived for cover.

“Three men shot our brother, they took money and airtime,” Ali said. “It’s not the first time our business has been targeted.”

Said Ali said the same night another Somali shop was burned down by looters in Du Noon Section 23.
He said thieves broke down the door and looted the shop before pouring paraffin on the floors and setting it alight.

He said he believed the shooting of his brother and the burning of the other shop was an extension of the May xenophobic attacks.

He said he and his brother had managed to re-establish their business from scratch after they had lost everything in the May attacks. “Police just come now (sic) they say we can help you…for what? It’s too late. We are never safe here.”

He said himself, Ossuman, Husen Hasan and Ali Muhammed Hassan were in the shop. Hassan was hit in the face with a gun butt.

Milnerton Police Communications Officer Inspector Daphne Dell could not confirm that a Somali-owned shop had been burnt down. Dell confirmed the shooting incident in which Ossuman died but said it was not linked to xenophobia and was a straightforward armed robbery. Dell said no arrests had been made yet but promised a full investigation.

Meanwhile local business owners say they also fear being attacked. Owner of Thabang Take Aways Nomhle Khoza said thieves disguised themselves as customers and then shot at shop owners.

“That’s why when we catch a thief we beat them. It’s no longer safe. Every weekend we hear a shopwoner has been killed,” said Khoza.

In a separate incident, Dell said an ADT security officer who was escorting a client was shot dead at about 8.20pm on Friday evening at the Du Noon Taxi Rank by unknown assailants.

She said the unknown assailants approached the security guard and shot him before taking his firearm and fleeing. — West Cape News.

* Reporting by Peter Luhanga. Published in the Cape Argus, 04 November 2008.

Tags: dunoon xenophobia

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