No one is helping us, say Grahamstown foreign nationals

OCTOBER 29, 2015

 Foreign nationals say nothing has been done to resolve the recent xenophobic attacks in Grahamstown.

The group, "Voices of the Foreigners’ Wives”‚ are blaming the mayor, his municipality and police for not taking them or the matter seriously.

Members of the group are planning a protest at the town’s City Hall, and say they plan to go ahead, despite warnings by police that their safety cannot be guaranteed.

"We cannot and will not back down. We have to stand up for our lives, for our families and for this community. We are going ahead with the protest at 13:00 on Friday as planned.

"If the police continue to deny us our right to protest we will go to the High Court to secure an interdict allowing us to exercise our basic democratic rights," said Jean-Pierre A Lukamba Om, Deputy Chairperson of the African Diaspora Forum.

Xenophobic attacks in Grahamstown began on Wednesday last week‚ hours after two local minibus taxi organisations converged at City Hall to protest against the state of the roads in Makana‚ the Times reported.

Lukhamba Om said their homes and shops continue to be looted and destroyed.

"Our husbands have not been able to return to their families. Our children are still being hidden at home.

“We still do not feel safe on the streets. We are still being insulted on the streets. Rumours are still being circulated about our husbands. We have lost everything and we have had no income for a week."


She said their list of demands includes:

1.     Stop the xenophobic attacks in Grahamstown.

2.     Stop the murder and rape of women in Grahamstown.

3.     Build an economy that creates opportunities for all.

4.     Provide housing and services for all.

5.     Allow our husbands to return to their families.

6.     Stop the rumours about our husbands.

7.     Stop religious discrimination.

8.     Stop councillors from dividing people.

Some supporters of the protest will include the Unemployed Peoples’ Movement, EFF and Rhodes students and academics.