Xenophobia attacks feared after SA 2010

Non South Africans living in the Western Cape have been gripped by unease and many have left their homes in townships to rent accommodation elsewhere.

Braam Hanekom, chairperson of People Against Suffering, Suppression, Oppression and Poverty (Passop) told Die Burger that foreigners are extremely worried.

“The reality is that there are people who are borrowing money to move out of local communities. Some have resigned from their jobs and have returned to the countries of their origin. They say it is better to die in their own countries than to die here.”

Rumours

Widespread rumours have been circulated that xenophobic attacks will possibly take place once the World Cup is over.

It is unclear where the rumours originated.

“The rumours are everywhere. Threats are made on taxis, other public transport and places of trade.”

Hanekom said there was no evidence of real plans for possible attacks.

Xenophobic attacks claimed the lives of 62 people in South Africa in 2008.

Hanekom said Passop served on the security forum of the Western Cape police chief, General Mzwandile Petros, who gave out the telephone numbers of station commanders should there be an outbreak of violence.

Anti-xenophobia plan

He said his organisation had already met with local communities to try to prevent any violence from breaking out. “We have an anti-xenophobia plan, which includes the spreading of pamphlets against such violence.”

Andile Peter, chairperson of the Milnerton community policing forum, said on Monday that large numbers of foreigners are moving from their homes in Du Noon. “Some are going to Parklands because they feel safer there. I know the local communities are totally against xenophobia. These rumours are totally unfounded.”

“It is so sad that these rumours have now begun, especially after everyone supported Ghana last week.”

The policing forum is planning to meet later this week with Du Noon residents.

– The army was deployed in Du Noon last week, but police said at the time it was part of their routine crime prevention operation and that it had nothing to do with xenophobia.

– Die Burger

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