21 February 2010
Sikhula Sonke has been shocked when we, while busy setting up to stay in Stofland for the evening heard local ANC members who went around with a bakkie and loud hailer instigating residents of Stofland to march to the refugee camp on Tuesday 23 February where Zimbabweans will be asked to leave the country.
Another ANC member asked us why we want the Zimbabwe group to be reintegrated. Please see photo of the member attached. He informed us that as residents they were told that too many people are living in Stofland and that is why no houses has been build up to date. By allowing the Zimbabwean comrades back, it will literally mean no houses will be build. He refused to tell us who the informant was.
Sikhula Sonke members and leaders had to leave Stofland just before midnight when a group of youngsters of which one had a knife tried to be disruptive. Young children been used to be violent and in the case of the force removals of people in Stofland we heard that many young people were involved in this. Should our kids not be educated, are parents not seeing the opportunity of a brighter future for their kids, why are they encouraged to act like gangsters? We did not leave because we felt intimidated; we left to protect the women, men and children whom we went with. Our purpose of raising consciousness and educating people has not been defeated. Many people in Stofland indicated that they have no problem with the Zimbabwe comrades being reintegrated. It seems that people are brainwashed by a small group of people in Stofland.
We as South Africans have an obligation. Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Malawi and other countries were a safe place for many under apartheid. Is this how we repay our fellow brothers and sisters? This is a disgrace in the light of our dream that another world is possible.
We call on the National leadership of the ANC, the Department of Justice, and South African Human Rights Commission to intervene. The perpetrators must be arrested and removed from the community. Proper housing and infrastructure should be build for the residents in Stofland as well as the comrades from Zimbabwe.
Please join us at a press briefing on Monday 22 February 2010 at 12h00 at the Sikhula Sonke offices at 98 Bird Street, (Opposite Good Bargains) Stellenbosch 7599. The South African Human Rights Commission and member of the ANC have been asked to join the press briefing.
For more information contact:
Sikhula Sonke General Secretary Wendy Pekeur on 083 285 1729 or Sandra Hendricks at 021 8833180