It won’t happen here, say residents of PMB’s Jika Joe

2008-05-26 00:00

Residents of the Jika Joe informal settlement in Pietermaritzburg have taken a stand against attacks on foreigners.

While the informal settlement in Ash Road is mainly inhabited by local citizens, it has accommodated more than 500 foreigners over the years.

Criticising xenophobia at an imbizo aimed at informing residents about recent Msunduzi housing development plans for them, ward councillor Peter Green said: “This behaviour of attacking foreigners is totally unacceptable … Everyone should be respected as human being.”

“Residents have promised us that cases like this will not happen in their area,” said Inspector Hamilton Madakana.

Community leader Bongani Mkhize said that what has been happening in this country is bad and Jike Joe residents do not want it happening again.

He said community members need to work together. “If residents in every community can catch one or two group leaders of these attacks, the whole thing can stop.”

Foreigners who have been living in Jika Joe for two years said they are unhappy and shocked.

“We are here to make a living so that we can support our families. We urge South Africans to stop assaulting us, because everyone is a foreigner in a country that is not his birth place,” said Benard Filo from Malawi.

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