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'Home is best'

By unknown | May 11, 2009 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Namhla Tshisela

Namhla Tshisela

Mohammed Rage Hussein carries a photo of his dead father around as a grim reminder of the life he wants to leave behind in South Africa.

His father, Mohammed Senior, was killed in his shop in Soshanguve by locals during the xenophobic violence in June.

He had left the tent shelter in Klerksoord to open another shop after his first was looted in Tsakane, on the East Rand, in May.

"He was convinced by the government and the UN [high commissioner for refugees] that it was safe for us to go back," Hussein says.

Hussein is one of hundreds of Somali refugees at the Riet Family Guidance Centre in Randfontein.

"There may be war in my country but it is better to die there than here. Back home one will get a proper burial," Hussein says.

The UNHCR had said it would not facilitate repatriation to countries at war or considered unsafe.

The Somali nationals attempted to leave the country via Botswana.

At Ramatlabama a stand-off between Botswana officials, SA immigration services and the police ensued.

They returned to the Carrol Shaw Centre and were later transferred to Riet, where they await their fate.


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