Jacob Dlamini on the July 12 Pogrom Rumours
Jacob Dlamini takes a closer look at rumours about xenophobic attacks around the World Cup. Word on the street is that 12 July 2010 will mark the start of another round of brutal assaults on foreigners and their property:
A Bangladeshi trader who runs a spaza shop on our street was recently visited by a young man. The man told the trader that, come July 12, he and other foreign traders in Katlehong must leave the township. The trader did not know the man and was certain the man was not one of his regular customers.
On Tuesday, I overheard three local women teasing/taunting a Mozambican man. “Make sure you are packed and ready to go by July 12,” they said. “But you know some of your sisters will starve if I am expelled from here,” he answered. “We don’t care,” said the women.
It was clear the three women and the Mozambican man knew one another. Still, there was no escaping the menace that hovered over their exchange. We were in one of those trading zones carved out by the municipality to regulate trade in the township. Anyone who has visited one of these zones will know that this is where foreigners, especially traders, congregate. Here you find mechanics, shoe repairers, hairdressers, second-hand clothes merchants, metal scrap yards, taverns and restaurants specialising in “foreign” fare.