waging war on xenophobia

MAKING AMENDS: SA Sports and Education Foundation member Jeff Masemola. © Sowetan.
MAKING AMENDS: SA Sports and Education Foundation member Jeff Masemola. © Sowetan.

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

All reports by Ramatsiyi Moholoa

The South Africa Sports and Education Foundation has embarked on a sports project with the aim of rooting out xenophobic attacks in our communities.

They hope to bring the locals and foreign nationals under one umbrella.

A non-profit organisation, Sasef has lined up a series of sports competitions starting in Gauteng that will gradually spread to other provinces.

The theme of the competitions is "Sweet 16 2010 World Cup, Together as One Nation". The first games took place at Altrek Stadium in Alexandra last weekend. It was in Alexandra where the first attacks on foreign African nationals broke out three weeks ago.

Jeff Masemola, foundation board member, said: "We decided to adopt that theme because South Africa will be celebrating 16 years of democracy in 2010. The plan was to start in Alexandra because that is where the barbaric attacks on our African brothers and sisters started.

"We are disappointed and angry that something like this is happening in our country. We need to start up as South Africa and call for an end to the attacks.

"The foundation has decided to team up with Garetsogeng Community Group in Alexandra to stage various sports games, we urge the celebrities to support us. Community members participate in various sporting codes like soccer, netball, basketball and others, depending on the availability of the facilities for such events.

"We all know that Alexandra has many people from countries like Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Somalia, Ethiopia and Nigeria staying and working in the township. The plan is also to go to the schools with the support of some of the celebrities joining us to urge our youth to embrace our African brothers and sisters."

Masemola, winner of the Sanlam/Sowetan Businessman of the Year award in Gauteng in 2000, said their initiative will focus on working as a team.

"We want to encourage communities to work together. We have every reason to believe that we will win the war against xenophobia."