Community meetings continue
From Page 5
response to the current crisis, along with municipal councillors and the police, have been called to address the community meetings.
The schedule for the rest of the week is as follows:
Thursday 29 October at 4.30pm: Tantyi Hall and Mayfield (tent); Friday at 4.30pm: Noluthando Hall and Extension 9 Hall.
There will be a mass meeting at 1pm on Sunday at the Indoor Sports Centre in Extension 6, which accommodates 3 000 people.
At 1pm on Friday, a group of women displaced by the looting and intimidation will stage a protest in front of the City Hall. They list eight demands that include dealing with the xenophobic outburst in Grahamstown, as well as generally improving socio-economic conditions, and for councillors to stop "dividing people”.
Truth from fiction
Speaking about this week’s meetings, ANC subregional chairperson Mabhuti Matyumza said attendance had been good so far.
However, Matyumza says people want to be in a position to be able to separate truth from fiction.
“They want to know if this is true or not, most of them can see that they have been misled by whoever is misleading them,” he said.
Matyumza said it was clear that people had different concerns with regard to the current situation.
“The reality is that there are people who have their own grievances. Some say they don’t want them to come back and there are those who say they want them back because they have left a big gap,” he said.
Speaking about the Seven Fountains meeting, Matyumza said the turn out was good.
“It was very well attended and well articulated by the police in terms of the mixed feelings that are out there,” he said.
Matyumza said people there said they were not aware that they had been lied to [ie that a false rumour had been spread] and admitted that they owe an apology to the foreign nationals.
“The meeting agreed through the station commander that he would facilitate a meeting between himself and the shop owners.”
Matyumza said most of the people at the BB Zondani meeting wanted the displaced residents to come back.
“But the younger people, for their own personal reasons, don't want them to come back,” he said.
“The community of that area is much calmer now,” Matyumza said. “At least they are able to say these people must come back, because they can see this thing was orchestrated,” he said.
Matyumza said the Hooggenoeg meeting hadn’t gone as well as the other meetings. Matyumza says he chaired that meeting, but the people weren't happy with the police contribution to it.
“According to the people, they couldn’t respond in a manner that satisfied them,” he said.
Matyumza said the next phase would be a programme to reintegrate the residents into the community.
Matyumza said the events of this week should be seen as a learning experience.
“You have structures like the community policing forums,” he said. “That’s why people were calling for the CPFs to be reinforced.”
The reality is that there are people who have their own
grievances. Some say they don't want them to come back and there are those who say they want them back because they have
left a big gap