Monday, June 24, 2013

Wallacedene foreign nationals still in limbo

Cape Town - Foreign nationals who fled Wallacedene after their shops were looted have not yet moved back.

Last week, angry Wallacedene residents took to the streets in protest over housing issues and some, described as “opportunistic”, took their anger out on public property and foreign nationals living in the area.

On Wednesday, about 1 000 residents looted Somali and Chinese shops.

The protest is believed to have been fuelled after about 50 illegal structures were removed from the area by city law enforcement officers.

On Sunday, Mohamed Aden of the Somali Association of SA said most of the foreign nationals were still seeking refuge at the nearby police station and were too afraid to go back.

“We had a meeting on Friday and the police advised the Somali’s not to go back until Saturday but they have not yet gone back.”

He said they were waiting for the land issue with the locals to be resolved before they moved back.

“It is not easy for them to return after their shops were looted.

“No shops have been opened and most of the property is still damaged.”

Many foreign nationals – including Zimbabweans, Congolese and Somalians – spent their weekend on a patch of grass in front of the Kraaifontein police station.

A Somali, who asked not to be named, said he was staying at a friend’s home in Brackenfell and would wait for the situation to return to normal before going back.

“Some are still at the police station and some are with friends around the area but no one has moved back.”

He said they would meet on Tuesday to decide what their next moved would be.

He said they would meet where there was a police presence.

“It won’t be a matter of moving back quickly, it is not easy, people were hurt by this.”

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