Law enforcement officers continue to monitor Dunoon as Somali shopkeepers face a barrage of attacks. The attacks, which appeared to be directed toward foreign shopkeepers, resulted in numerous foreigners evacuating the area this week.
Member of the Somali Community Forum, Abdullah Ali, explained that the situation in the area has calmed down, further noting that media reports exaggerated the situation on the ground.
Ali explained that the Dunoon protest is not isolated. Instead, it is part of the broader socio-economic constraints currently experienced in South Africa.
“When the situation becomes tense and the protesters cannot get access to the council they instead seek attention by exerting attacks against the vulnerable players, who are as weak as they are,” Ali noted.
He further stated that individuals do not inherently hate others. Instead, Ali explained, that those who are inciting the attacks are reacting to deeper social issues.
Despite the true reasons for the surge in protests, Ali affirmed that the actions are unjustified.
“When you have valid reasons to protest against unjust treatment you can’t take it out against others.”
He further noted that the shop owners, who removed their goods from their shops, appear to be prepared to return and re-establish business.
Ali confirmed that various shop keepers were safeguarded from being looted by community members who informed foreign shop owners that they should protect against looting by removing their stock from their shops.
“The media is not mentioning that various Dunoon community members encouraged the shop keepers to remove their stock to safe guard against looting,” Ali concluded.