Commemorating World Refugee Day
To commemorate World Refugee Day, the Corporate Relations Division at UKZN invited the University community for a screening of Voetsek! Us/ Brothers, a movie directed by Andy Spitz.
The movie was filmed in Makause, an informal settlement near Germiston, Gauteng, where the violent confrontations between South Africans and foreign nationals started. It showcases the conflict, characterised by mainstream media as xenophobic, that transpired between 2008 and 2015. In the movie, poverty stands out as the main factor that perpetuates violence amongst Africans.
One of the attendees, Mr Sanele Majola, a master’s student at UKZN, said for him, the movie was eye-opening.
‘The movie is emotional and due to socioeconomic pressing issues in South Africa, xenophobic attacks erupt as a means to express anger and dissatisfaction over socio-political concerns. It is unfortunate that fellow Africans become victims in the process of addressing domestic concerns,’ said Majola.
SSDC Acting Manager, Ingrid Potgieter, said while the movie was informative, the last scenes were not a true reflection of the facts. She said the violence in Rosettenville was due to hijacking of houses, drug trafficking and trafficking of girls as young as nine years old. ‘The Mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, set up a task team to investigate and at no stage was the uprising attributed to xenophobia’, she said, adding that residents were raising social issues faced by the community and not directing or attacking individuals because of their nationality.
Words: Nokubonga Nomasiko Jele