Somali refugees in the Soetwater camp, in Cape Town

Somali refugees in the Soetwater camp, in Cape TownThis is not a great photo. It’s just a photo. Cape Town likes to consider itself a world-class city. Its very own home-grown refugee crisis, and the staggeringly incompetent and inhumane response to that crisis, suggests it’s actually rather a shabby place. I cannot help wondering how much better these people would be treated were they white.

About David

I am an environmental writer, journalist and speaker living in Cape Town, South Africa.
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2 Responses to Somali refugees in the Soetwater camp, in Cape Town

  1. hoh says:

    i wonder how many are there now
    it’s been bitterly cold
    last night a freind said things are not good there
    for the past 2 days that i could hardly type as my fingers were so cold and gloves were not an option

  2. Yes well, I have written some thoughts on the xenophobia but this picture tells the story very well indeed. This has been a time of great sadness for South Africa and I sometimes wonder if we have even begun to understand the depth of the betrayal of all we thought South Africa stood for that the xenophobic nonsense means. I had lived the past 14 years thinking that, in spite of the crime, violence and poverty, that at least South Africa was moving towards a more humane, sane mode of being. Now I’m rather less sanguine about that. I feel personally affronted by the xenophobia, while actually still questioning is it really xenophobia, or is there something, perhaps even more sinister, that is at work here? This has been a loud wake-up call, and yet I think we are all still sleeping through a revolution, because its not really being televised! But because I’m a stubborn old bastard I’m still holding onto hope, holding onto the thought that a country which can produce Mandela and Tutu must be able to get through this and emerge more human at the end. Am I just naive?

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