Police ready to protect expats

2017-03-02 06:01
Members of the Ghanaian community living in the townships met with police reacting to rumours of planned xenophobic attacks in the areas. PHOTO: Mandla MAhashe

Members of the Ghanaian community living in the townships met with police reacting to rumours of planned xenophobic attacks in the areas. PHOTO: Mandla MAhashe

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Local Ghanaian community is not leaving anything to chance following anti-foreigner sentiments and marches organised in other parts of the country.

Last week, a group of residents from Mamelodi in Pretoria went on a rampage, looting shops and attacking foreigners.

Fears that this would turn into xenophobic violence and spread across the country- as was the case in the past- pushed the local Ghanaian expats to take action.

On Friday they met with SAPS members from the Lingelethu West Police station at the Lookout Hill in Khayelitsha.

According to Kofi Boahen, Ghanaians are worried about the possible sparking of violence attacks in Cape Town townships.

“Whenever there is xenophobic violence in other parts of the country, it always ends happening here.

“We have decided to take a proactive step to engage SAPS to find out if they have any information about planned violence in Cape Town.

We want to be prepared for the worst that might happen and know that the police will be able to assist us,” said Boahen.

He said they needed assurance from the police that should there be violence, they will be protected.

“We wanted to get assurance from the police that they will be there to protect our people should the attacks take place. We have no other option but to turn to the police station,” he said.

He said that there were rumours xenophobic attacks may rear its ugly head in the province, but says that the police have assured them that was not the truth.

“It was a good meeting...they told us they understand our concerns and that they were ready for the worst case scenario,” said Boahen.

He said that this was the beginning of their work to protect foreigners living and working in the townships.

“We will start having discussions with other foreigners from different countries to find a solution. As a result we have lined up a meeting where our safety will be discussed,” he said.

Rapheal Mitetu, said that while they were on high alert, they were happy to have had the police assure them.

The newly-formed Coalition of Civics Against Xenophobia‚ made up of both South Africans and representatives of local foreigner national communities‚ under the auspices of the Lawyers for Human Rights‚ has vowed to try to stop the march.

The coalition said other xenophobes in other parts of the country will see the march as a licence to openly speak their message of hatred against immigrants.

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