The Right2Know Campaign strongly condemns the barbaric xenophobic attacks that took place in Grahamstown leaving 392 people without livelihoods and homeless. We call on the ANC government and the Makana Municipality to effectively address the xenophobic outbreak that has marred the community by initiating a practical integration strategy.
Over the past few weeks foreign nationals have been attacked and harassed by the locals without any condemnation from government authorities. Instead, the Makana Municipality is playing a blame game by pointing a finger to an unknown “third force”.
The municipality supported by the national government must embark on a vigorous awareness campaign and educate the people about ubuntu, human rights, solidarity and equality, especially with new attack threats reportedly planned for December 21.
President Jacob Zuma and Premier Phumulo Masualle’s silence and inaction is a sign of uncaring leadership. We understand that the affected families have repeatedly called upon these leaders to come listen to their plight but their invitation had been met with complete disregard. Not only have these two leaders let down the families in distress, but they have also let down the country that voted them into power.
The whole world is faced with various challenges and some are prompted by political turmoil, South Africans should not think that they are immune to such challenges by mistreating asylum seekers as they might end up seeking refuge in countries like Nigeria and Pakistan in the near future. We call on the community to be more vocal and visible in affected communities by supporting anti-xenophobia community initiatives. They must report any threats or talks about possible attacks and all related criminal elements like looting to the police immediately.
We also call on religious leaders, social movements, business leaders, student movements and NGOs to unite and provide the much needed assistance to the displaced families. You can assist by facilitating open dialogues in affected communities or by donating food, clothes and cash to Masifunde Education and Development Project Trust.
For more information contact:
Patricia May, Displaced Community Member: 071 043 8949.
Siyasanga Bentele, UPM and Masifunde Education & Development Project Trust: 046 622 2847.
Busi Mtabane, Right2Know Communicator: 083 329 7844.