Saturday, July 10, 2010

Xenophobia Alert: locals wanted "illegal foreigners in the country" to be locked up or deported.

SHOOT: A time and place has already been indicated for the first attack. 3am on July 12 [early Monday morning].
clipped from
While police and senior politicians have dismissed rumours that xenophobia is brewing in several Cape communities, those on the ground believe there is a very real threat of attacks.

In Masiphumelele, an informal settlement near Cape Town's Noordhoek, a time and date has even been set - at 3am on July 12, after the World Cup final. John Thomas, a local pastor, said it had gone "way beyond rumours - the threats are very real".

In 2008, thousands of foreigners fled Masiphumelele in the wake of attacks, but Thomas said that this time, people wouldn't run so easily.
"We may end up with counter-violence, and I think there could be casualties on both sides."

On Thursday night, about 400 residents gathered in the Masiphumelele community hall and demanded to meet local white employers to tell them not to employ foreigners for low wages.

About 20 percent of Masiphumelele's estimated 35 000 to 40 000 population is estimated to be foreign.
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