AEC hosts another anti-xenophobia meeting as we continue to be misrepresented in the media

23 07 2009

Anti-Eviction Campaign Press Release
24 July 2009

Below we have included information about Sunday’s anti-xenophobia meeting. But first, as the Anti-Eviction Campaign, we would like to express our concern over continued misrepresentation of its activists in the media.

An article written a few weeks ago in the Die Burger by Nurene Jassiem entitled Xenofobiese Geweld: Somaliers ‘kry steun’ incorrectly implied that AEC coordinator Mncedisi Twalo felt that Somalians were the cause of strife amongst local businesses. When contacted, they refused to apologise or retract the implication.

This week, Mncedisi was again misrepresented when City Vision journalist Linda Kubeni wrote an article saying that Mr. Twalo is the leader of the local Gugulethu Business Forum. As an chairperson of the Gugulethu Anti-Eviction Campaign, this blatantly untrue statement undermines Mncedisi’s role as an independent mediator between local businesses and Somali traders. The xenophobia issue is a very sensitive matter and such untruths threaten to derail the mediation. As the AEC, we expect an immediate apology and correction.

We also call on all journalists and editors to do a better job exposing the truth. Your job should not be to sell newspapers by sensationalising events and people, it should be about exposing what is really going on in our communities.

On Sunday 31 July 2009 at Kwezi Hall in Gugulethu Mncedisi will again take up the role of mediator during a large anti-xenophobia meeting. This meeting will include local business associations from at least 4 different communities, landlords, Somalian shopkeepers, church leaders, SANCO members, ward councillors and police representatives (media will only be allowed in after the meeting at the request of local businesspeople).

The aim of this meeting is to reduce the xenophobic anger and frustration pointed at Somalians and other foreign nationals. The unhappiness of local business people is justified but is being directed at other poor people instead of at the government and the corporations who are the route cause of our problems.

Down with poor-on-poor violence! Forward with the poor people’s struggle for a decent life!

For more information, contact Mncedisi Twalo at 078 580 8646

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