It’s often said that South Africa was liberated by young people, but today we talk of the Youth as a lost generation, and if thy are lost, then whose fault is it? Alas, the big questions is: ‘how did we get to situations like the one rearing its ugly head in Rosettenville, a suburb situated in the south of Johannesburg?’
Rosettenville is a siginificant community, especially in the history of the Portuguese community in South Africa, who moved into the community between 1924 and 1972, in numbers that exceeded 50 000 white Portuguese-speaking immigrants. These Portuguese came mainly from Portugal, while another wave of them joined earlier immigrants from Mozambique, especially after the nation gained her independence from Portugal in 1976. Rosettenville also has several recollections, including being the location of the school that Oliver Tambo, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Henry Makgothi, and a few other prominent people attended at some time in history.
But in this case, Rosettenville is making the news for being the location of Xenophobic attacks. Residents took to the streets to protests against drug dealing and prostitution, with the protests resulting in the burning of 15 houses of people whom their neighbours accuse of being drug dealers and prostitute peddlers. Incidentally, these houses are owned or occupied by foreigners. These neighbours complain that the nefarious activities have made it unbearable to live in this community, citing examples of prostitute coming in at 3:00 in the mornings, while screaming in the driveways.
Community members say they have tried reporting to the SAPS (South African Police Services ) but they nothing has been done so far. Isaac Davis, the CPF Chairperson in the community says “we can’t take the laws in our own hands; I understand that the community is tired but we cannot take the laws in our own hands we have to work according to the law it’s painful because children are suffering, with regard to drug houses in our area, and we need to sort it out but we need to do that in a proper manner, not with violence.”
Some say the most important thing is to bring all the stakeholders together so we can form a community policing forum and have dialogues. But the Rosetteville community members here say they won’t stop until all foreigners in the area are evicted.
Rosettenville is known to be the home of the first ever Nando’s restaurant in South Africa, which was opened in 1987, and is also the place where reggae musician Lucky Dube was shot dead in front of his children in October 2007. Now they are making the news as a purportedly xenophobic community.
Get more updates as the news unfolds on the News on LoveWorldSAT.