2 more Somalis killed
By Hassan Isilow
CAPETOWN: The New Year began on a sad note for the Somali community in the Western Cape when two more Somali traders were killed by gunmen who have yet to be identified or captured. The first victim was Mohammed Abukar Mo’alim, a 30 year old shop keeper who was murdered on Monday at his shop outside Wynberg. “Mo’alim was killed by unknown gunmen as he served customers inside his tuck-shop about 10pm on the outskirts of Wynberg,” Abdi Jidow, chairman of the Somali Community Board (SCOB) in the Western Cape, reported.
Speaking to Africa Witness on Wednesday, he was of the belief that the motive behind Mo’alim’s murder was purely criminal. “I believe those who killed Mo’alim were robbers who knew he could identify them so they decided to shoot him before stealing cash, cigarettes and other items from his shop.” Jidow ruled out the possibility that the murder could have been committed for xenophobic reasons.
Crime vs. Xenophobia
Meanwhile, on Tuesday another Somali national, Abdulkarim Hussein, was gunned down in Mitchells Plain. “I don’t know why the victim was killed, because residents of Mitchells Plain have always been very friendly and welcoming to the Somali community,” Abdullahi Ali, a Somali analyst living in Cape Town stated. He explained that Somalis are mainly targeted because of business jealousy from local traders who often accuse them of selling merchandise at lower prices. “Somali traders are very enterprising, so the local business people in townships hate them. Hence the continuous murders we are seeing,” he stated.
However, other community analysts believe that criminals view Somalis as soft targets. “Somalis often carry around huge sums of money, airtime and cigarettes which have made them a soft target for criminals. So we should not always attribute attacks on Somalis as being xenophobic because there are also other motives behind these attacks,” said Keisar Ali.
Last year 45 Somali nationals were murdered in townships across the Western Cape, which was significantly lower than in 2011 when it was reported that 60 Somalis were killed. “We are shocked about the endless killing of our nationals,” Amir Sheikh, former secretary general of the Somali Community Board (SCOB) said on Wednesday. ( This Piece was originally published on VOCFM)