Somali murders lead to dialogue

2017-03-16 06:02
Dalisile Mfazwe of Sanco, Thandi Mbuthu of the KDF, Bongani Vakele from Sascop and Abdi Qadir Mohammed from Sasa, during the local dialogue to find solutions. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

Dalisile Mfazwe of Sanco, Thandi Mbuthu of the KDF, Bongani Vakele from Sascop and Abdi Qadir Mohammed from Sasa, during the local dialogue to find solutions. PHOTO: Mandla Mahashe

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Dialogue is being undertaken in Khayelitsha following the killing of about 12 Somali shopkeepers in the past month.

On Tuesday Africa Unite-a Non-Governmental-Organisation-facilitated a meeting between the Somali Association of South Africa(Sasa), South African Spaza Shops Co-operative, Sanco and KDF.

According to Africa United facilitator Aphiwe Mtumtum there was a need for these organisations to come together to find a solution.

“With the general increase of violence against immigrants, action urgently needs to be taken at the local level.

To create a positive dynamic at the regional and national level, we are convinced that the process should start from the grassroots.

These eruptions of brutality are sadly becoming a common phenomenon in numerous communities and solutions need to be found to stop this vicious cycle,” said Mtumtum.

He said that the organisations involved were identified for the role they played in the community.

During this roundtable discussions, there were interesting observations and revelations, said Mtumtum.

“In our communities, there is a problem of lack of information regarding foreigners.

There is a perception all foreigners are war refugees without skill and have no benefit in society which is incorrect,” he said.

He said that there was also a perception that foreigners are criminals and this led to lack of empathy when they are victimised.

“When one foreigner commits crime it is not only him that gets punished but all of them as a result.

But there were very good recommendations that have emerged during the meeting such as a policy that states that there should be a restriction on the number of foreign owned shops to give a chance for local businesses to thrive.

It was also resolved that there should be other dialogues where more organisations such as the SAPS and youth organisations are invited,” he said.

Abdi Kadir Mohamed, provincial representative for Sasa, said that they were happy to see local organisation talking about the problems that the Somalians are faced with.

“We are happy that there are people that are talking about this and are looking for a solution. We are happy that there is a dialogue and we will be taking part as well,” said Mohamed.

Sasa is an organisation that seems to protect the rights of refugees and asylum seekers by training and holding workshops in business for locals.

Sascop founder and chairman Bongani Vakele, said that the discussion was a success and it was hoped that they would continue their relationship with the stakeholders involved.

“Foreigners and locals need to come together and do business where all can benefit.

This is the only way we can stop the animosity,” he said.

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