“….Masiphumelele leads South Africa and restores our southern peninsula
Brief outline of events from Masiphumelele eMzantsi coordinator Rodney
Thursday night: relatively minor trouble in Masi following evacuation
of foreigners by police – mostly young drunken ‘tsotsis’ taking
advantage of the situation and looting.
Friday: Yandiswa Mazwane, community leader, mobilises all other leaders
for peace rally with help of the ‘Ubuntu Coalition’ (eMzantsi Carnival,
Art of Living, other NGOs). Leaders address packed community hall at
6pm, vociferous support expressed for foreigners (“we want them in
2010, why not now?”), wonderful prayer and singing, and candlelit vigil
(featured on eTV news Sat night). Tangible sense of calm restored on
leaving at 7pm. NO TROUBLE AT ALL IN MASI ON FRIDAY NIGHT.
Saturday: community leaders hold two follow up meetings, first to allow their community to voice any concerns. Quite apparent this is not
evidence of xenophobia but rather persistent economic stress
(NB no force was used against foreigners in Masiphumelele [Masi]).
2nd meeting of all community structures made a plan to restore righteous order…
Saturday night: joint community and police effort to recover all stolen property by going door to door. Involving ANC, SANCO, Salvation Army –
everyone. Street committees re-empowered. Masi pride restored.
Sun morning: people still spontaneously bringing stuff back. All taken
to Ocean View police station for safekeeping.
Sun afternoon: Premier arrives to congratulate Masi community leaders.
Deputation take memo to Soetwater to read to refugees to invite them
back home. More than 70 people welcomed back to Masi with a KFC supper
in the late evening.
PLEASE NOTE this was a community initiated and community driven
effort. eTV news on Sunday made out this was a police exercise, but the
police supported the community, not the other way round. Masi leaders
should be praised for doing on Friday what Mbeki had not had the
courage to do – stand up and say “This is not acceptable here. We
condemn it, and we will act immediately to make amends.” We in the
South should be proud of them
Reassuringly, local councillors Felicity Purchase and Nicki
Holderness were on the ground as we left last night, local police were
doing the best they could, and bakkie loads of officials had started to
arrive… watch this space.
The Art of Living Foundation
is offering trauma relief programmes in
both Masiphumelele and Soetwater – contact
Candi Horgan on 082 561 2879 for information.
They would like to thank Cafe Roux, Noordhoek, for lending them their tent.
If you have food, clothes, blankets, heaters or baby supplies
to donate, please take them to:
the Sun Valley Pick’n’Pay for distribution to those in need.
If you would like to volunteer an hour of your time, email
email@example.com or leave your contact details on 021 789 1665. We will
call you if and when we can use you.
from the office of the eMzantsi Carnival project
Harlequin Foundation – creating a common culture through carnival….”
● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ● ●