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'We don't want them'

By unknown | Jun 17, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Zinhle Mapumulo

Zinhle Mapumulo

The community of the Ramaphosa informal settlement in Boksburg, Ekurhuleni, has formed a street committee to work against the reintegration of displaced foreigners into the area.

This was announced at a community meeting at the weekend.

The committee has been tasked with identifying and reporting to the ward committee if any foreign national returns to the settlement.

David Tjetjane, a member of the ward committee, said the aim of the committee was to avoid any violence that might erupt when the foreign nationals returned.

"The community has made it clear that they do not want them to come back," Tjetjane said.

"We are afraid that if the foreigners return they will strike again. But the community has assured us that they will not engage in any violence unless they have to defend themselves."

Earlier residents of the settlement had pointed out that their situation differed from that of other areas affected by violence.

The ward committee said foreigners had attacked locals, who then fought back.

Asked if their refusal to allow foreigners to be reintegrated was motivated by this, Tjetjane said: "Yes, we do not want to have the same situation on our hands."

He said the street committee would report on why any person returned.

"We will make sure that the person is escorted safely out of Ramaphosa," he said. "If that person needs assistance, such as moving furniture, he will be helped."

The street committee consists of 15 people. They are each responsible for two streets.

At the meeting, the community generally appeared calm. But there were those who could not hide their anger about the whole situation.

Government spokesman Themba Maseko yesterday declined to comment.

He referred Sowetan to Gauteng provincial spokesman Thabo Masebe, who was not available for comment.


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