Shaun Gillham and Thulani Gqirana
ONE Somali national was shot dead and two others seriously woundedwhen gunmen opened fire on them outside a supermarket in New Brighton, Port Elizabeth, yesterday.
The attack took place outside the Somali-owned Halaal Supermarket in Avenue A at about 10.30am.
According to witnesses, the dead man, named as Abdi Aqard, 26, and three others had arrived at the shop after fetching stock when they were attacked.
After firing several shots at the Somalis, who were all employed at the supermarket, the armed men fled on foot without taking any money or property. No arrests have been made.
Aqard’s cousin, store owner Abdinasir Hassan, 27, said the wounded men were taken to Livingstone Hospital, where late yesterday they were reported to be in a stable condition.
Angry Somalis at the scene said they had recognised one of the men involved in the attack, who, according to them, was behind a number of attacks on Somalis in recent months.
Police spokesman Captain Johan Beetge said the four Somalis had just finished unloading at the shop when four suspects in a white Volkswagen Golf came up to them and started firing.
“We cannot say at this stage how many of the suspects had guns but there were quite a number of shots fired. The suspects fled without robbing them.”
Eastern Cape Somali Community Board chairman Suleiman Hussein said: “We are sick and tired of being targets. In the past two weeks, there have been robberies in Kwazakhele and Motherwell, and it is too much. The police are doing their best, but we are targets over and over again.
“When they rob shops in the townships, the perpetrators always tell the shop owners not to report it to the police otherwise they will come back and kill them. Shopkeepers live in fear for their lives, but they always report to us [the board] when they are robbed. Shopkeepers in the townships are assaulted and beaten almost daily,” he said.