MMC of Community Safety in Ekurhuleni Cllr Sizakele Masuku has called on the Ekurhuleni Metropolitan Police Department (EMPD) to decisively deal with threats of violence that are being directed to spaza shop owners in the townships.

Cllr Masuku gave the directive to the EMPD after a brief visit to Thulani Khumalo, a spaza shop owner, on Tuesday, 7 May 2024, after he allegedly received life-threatening messages from other traders, suspected to be foreign nationals.

Khumalo claims that he has been receiving these threats from unknown people telling him to close down his shop ‘or else his life would be in danger’.

Last week, one of Khumalo’s friends was shot by unknown people as he was leaving the former’s shop. 

Khumalo says he and his family now live in fear as suspicious armed characters in different cars still come asking for him at home and his shop.

“This is unacceptable. South Africa promotes free trade and everyone entering this space must be allowed to do business and have a shot at the market. We cannot sit back and allow these threats as a municipality. The EMPD must act swiftly and ensure that those behind this are locked up,” says MMC Masuku.