Criminals carried out Uitenhage attacks

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AS the Langa Youth Development Forum (LYDF), we criticise and condemn the recent attacks on the Somali and Ethiopian community, looting and destruction of their private property and shops. We view these attacks as xenophobic, ignorant and opportunistic.

It is in our view that these attacks had nothing to do with the genuine concerns that the community were protesting about. The Kwa-Langa residents were protesting for their genuine concerns of service delivery and demanding decent houses from the government.

It is also our belief that these acts were being carried out by criminals who took these actions as an opportunity to carry out their criminal activities.

We view these acts as a direct attack on social cohesion and stability.

We urge all community members and all political organisations to provide a secure environment for these local businessmen, as an effort to protect the local economy, because these shops provide daily consumables at very affordable prices to low income earners and the poor. Failure to do that will result in poverty in Kwa-Langa.

The LYDF had been planning to build a long-term relationship with these foreign nationals prior to these unfortunate attacks, and has even had a number of meetings with an intention of bringing social cohesion and understanding, through seminars and cultural activities. We view these attacks as a very major setback to the progress already made.

L Makedama, secretary, Langa Youth Development Forum

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