A multi-stakeholder community meeting held in Bankara Bodulong village on February 14, 2017 hit a snag, much to the gloom of the desperate foreigners and the lukewarm local leadership.
The community openly pronounced its standpoint regarding the issue of allowing foreign nationals from Asian origin to come back to stay or re-establish their businesses. “We no longer want makhula or ‘my friend’ as they are affectionately called in the area. They have done a lot of damage to the community and we cannot accept them anymore”.
Apart from the lonely incident where a local teenager succumbed to the fatal stab on the eve of New Year by the lonely under-arrest Asian, the community seems to have found a trigger to express their distaste or animosity over these foreign nationals. The community unleashed a plethora of complaints revolving around the running of the foreigners’ businesses, claiming they are too expensive.
The community further claimed that the foreigners are a cause of juvenile pregnancy in the area, a known abomination from their country of origin. They discourage youths from attending school. They sell adhesives and hooka-pipes for smoking dagga. They also entice youths with silly sweeties - much to the detriment of their future.
In one of the explosive meetings held in the presence of provincial executives including the Premier Sylvia Lucas and the Provincial Commissioner Major General Peter Shivuri, members of the community mentioned that “. . . the Asians never helped us during the liberation struggle, but they are coming here to harvest – more so than people from our neighbouring countries that were in solidarity with us.”
The Ga-Segonyana Mayor, honourable Neo George Masegela, who led the delegation and was trying to bring an olive branch between the two parties, said that while the effort was unfortunate, it was equally too early to throw in the towel, as the community is still fresh from the tragedy.
However, the trapped and hunger-stricken Asians said that they have nowhere to go because they have families of South African origin, have title deeds on pieces of land in Bankara and know it clearly that the hostility is being fanned by a few individuals and therefore a common consensus has to be reached. Meanwhile food supplies at the caravan park are in short supply and these foreigners are eating once a day and are directly appealing to well-wishers to come to their rescue.
IMG 3722 The displaced foreign nationals standing aloof outside the Caravan Park house
Img 4015 The true state of the situation as hunger takes charge at Caravan Park.