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SANCO denies charging protection fee for foreigners

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The South African National Civic Organisation (SANCO) has denied media reports stating it was demanding foreign nationals fork out a protection fee against xenophobia. The non-profit organisation has labelled these reports as a mistake.

“This has come as a mistake. We are a non-profit organisation. It is there to protect the people as a street committee. This thing that we are telling people to pay for protection and we apologise to all the people of Africa,” said says national executive member and Khayelitsha resident Nomphundo Moshni.

Recent newspaper reported that a leader of SANCO had been charging foreign nationals a protection fee against xenophobic attacks.

“SANCO in Makhaza, Khayelitsha, had offered protection against violence – at a fee – that foreign nationals have jumped at. At least five foreign shopkeepers have already signed up for the deal, which comes with a one-off R150 fee,” stated published the Cape Argus.

The organisation condemns the act of offering a protection fee against attacks.

“Anyone who participates in acts of offering a protection fee should be charged by a court of law,” says Moshni.

On Sunday the community leader and chairman Mthethwa Filita had told Moshni that newspapers had published misleading statements regarding the organisation.

“He told us that it was a mistake and a misprint in the papers. He said he did not mean that,” says Moshni.

She added: “Although Somalians are business people, people have said there were attacks due to them taking away business opportunities from locals in Khayelitsha but this does not happen. We do not ask them to pay a protection fee. We would not ask anyone to pay.”

The organisation has rejected xenophobic attacks happening in Khayelitsha.

“There has not been attacks. There is no such thing. Foreigners are our brothers and sisters why would we hurt them,” says Moshni.

It’s aim is to offer equal protection to all regardless of their nationality and accessibility to funds.

“We are here to protect all people no matter what,” says Moshni. VOC

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