'We are all Africans here'

Dan Fuphe

Dan Fuphe

The xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals which gripped Daveyton and surrounding areas in Ekurhuleni last week has subsided.

It was business as usual for many foreign traders near Daveyton Mall until late on Sunday. Those who had responded to the call by local ANC, Cosatu and Sanco branches and community leaders not to be intimidated by attacks elsewhere, said they felt heartened by the support and singled out the empathy accorded them by ward councillor Makgopa Kgopa.

A Mozambican man said: "We left our countries to seek a better life and jobs; and send money back home. What is happening now is worse than the atrocities of the apartheid regime, because these attacks are perpetrated against us by fellow Africans. The scars may take time to heal but we will not forget."

Putfontein police spokesman Chairman Makhubu said: "On Sunday we accommodated about 13 foreign nationals who spent the night at the police station for security reasons." Captain Enoch Dube of the Kwa-Thema police said the situation in the township was "relatively calm".

"On Sunday afternoon about 100 Somalis arrived to seek refuge. They were not threatened but had come of their own accord and stayed for the night."

In Chris Hani, ward councillor Nelta Badela said calm and sanity had returned after random shots were fired by a group of young Mozambicans on Saturday night. "We held a mass meeting on Sunday afternoon where fears were allayed. We cannot allow outside influences to dictate to us who should stay here. Those who are here, are all Africans."