Is this black racism, crime or Xenophobia?
By Hassan Isilow
CAPETOWN-“If you didn’t know it, we are fed up of foreigners and don’t want to see you here.” These were the words of two thugs who robbed and assaulted a foreign shop keeper in Delft on Thursday evening. 25 year-old Abdi Majeed Mohamud, a Somali national said two thugs attacked him outside his tuck shop.
“They came up to me and said a few dirty, xenophobic words, before one of them hit me with a gun on the forehead, while the other punched me on the lips.” He said they then robbed him of two cell phones and a wallet containing R300. “I was told the name of one of the thugs by a friend and I’m contemplating reporting him to the police,” he related.
Like most refugees operating businesses in townships, he fears turning his attackers in to police because they might intimidate him further. “Reporting them to the police might endanger my stay in Delft where I do business. I don’t know what I should do.”
This is the latest in a renewed wave of attacks on foreign nationals in townships across the country. On Monday a 50-year-old Somali delivery truck driver was gunned down by robbers while delivering goods to shops in Khayelitsha township near Cape Town. But while activists working with refugees have shown growing concern about the increase in the attacks on foreigners of late, police have insisted that the attacks were crime driven and not xenophobic.