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Chinese Businesses in South Africa Form Armed Self Defense Groups to Protect Their Property From Looters

Image: People flee from police as the carry goods while looting and vandalising the Lotsoho Mall in Katlehong township, East of Johannesburg, on July 12, 2021. Phill Magakoe / AFP

Chinese business owners in KwaZulu-Natal’s third-largest city Newscastle are forming armed civil patrols to protect their property and residents from the violent protests that have steadily escalated since July 8th, according to a report published by the Chengdu Commercial Daily newspaper. The Newcastle area is a textile manufacturing hub where more than a hundred Chinese-owned factories are located.

The businesses in Newcastle are trying to avoid the fate of shopping malls and other businesses in KwaZulu-Natal that have been looted and set ablaze. Unlike previous xenophobic rioting in recent years, there’s no indication that looters are specifically targeting businesses owned by immigrants or the Chinese in particular. 

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