Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Women Who Suffer Abuse

This happens to be a hot topic of discussion in many circles (Women who suffer abuse) Who are they? What are their characteristics? A lot of people are still unable to define who these women are, generally its women. In an attempt to answer this question. WWWA took to the streets of Cape Town to raise awareness on the abuse of women. And TO ATTEMPT AN ANSWER PLEASE WATCH THIS SPACE
Ladies and gents, friends and colleagues, it feels really good to be back. Years of absence from this scene, however the good news is WWWA blog spot is here now and to stay. We have so much information to share, many things to do and lots of you to stay connected to, from now and for evaaaar, watch this space.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Freedom Day indeed .......

Tuesday 27th April was a day of celebrations, in South Africa as most South African celebrated their hard earned freedom from slavery. Those who did not feel like celebrating stayed home and just had a day off from work.

This was not the case with a group of foreign national doing business in the taxi rank of the Wynberg suburb of Cape Town. Close to twenty five foreign national most of them women selling African food items, and operating roadside hair dressing salons, were brutally attacked by a group of local women supported by the taxi drivers of the Wynberg taxi rank.

The women were accused of covering for some foreign men who use them as a cover to sale drugs to the public. The local women came out in full war gear ready to kill and destroy their fellow women; they sang war path songs demanding the foreign women to take their things and go back home where ever that was. They destroyed every thing belonging to the women, what could not be destroyed was taken away.
The women who have been coming into our offices since last week are very traumatized and afraid, but grateful that they are alive.

The Wynberg police who were called in to intervene did nothing to help the foreigners, but encouraged their fellow South Africans to chase the makwerekweres,
We have been informed that in the course of this commotion a pregnant women fainted and a police man who stood by was about to call the ambulance but when he noticed that the lady was not of the South African origin he changed his mind and walked away.

It is with pity that black African from other countries continues to face discrimination from their fellow South African brothers and sister most especially of the African origin. We noted with pity that out of the eighteen women forcibly removed from the taxi rank market, less than four of them have another bread winner in their families; most of these women are single mothers with no other source of income with children to feed rents to pay and just put body and soul together, it is a pity that all of these women have legal papers to live in South Africa as refugees, and these documents allows them to work and enjoy other freedoms in this country .
We also noted that this event was well organized and executed and not even the private media has mentioned it. Unfortunately those women do not have any where else to go and no means of survival.
WHOLE WORLD WOMEN ASSOCIATION, continues to struggle to support women in an environment where women are abused and mistreated even after they have fled to so call safety zones, most refugee women in this country are exposed to all forms of abuse, this is visible in the trauma in their lives, women amazingly overcome the situation in the best ways that they can and continue to forge a way forward in life.
It is again a situation of do or die for them as most of the countries from where these women have come has nothing better to offer them. they can not run away from the realities in South Africa, WWWA supports dialogue and reconciliation in solving any kind of misunderstanding .MOST ESPECIALLY WHEN IT COMES TO ISSUES AMONGST WOMEN . As we move on into the future hope is our only weapon . Survival for all is our motto.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The new Minister of Home Affaires

Members of WWWA came together this weekend to review achievements and the challenges in the last ten months. There was a lot spoken about in terms of successes but the one thing that dominated our discussions was the issue of the Refugee Reception Centre in Cape Town.
This was not the first time the department and its problems have taken central stage in any refugee gathering, but this time around it was all on a positive note.
I thought it is important to share with whoever is interested how refugee women feel about the minister.
Some say she is a real woman with a heart of gold, some have declared that only Nkosazana Dlamini Zuma our beloved Minister of Home Affaires could move the department from the “hell hole in Nyanga” where many refugees lost their lives and belongings, to a
“Better place” where it is now, they think the woman is a god sent savior. Sometimes it is important not to jump to conclusions, that this place in Maitland is actually a better place. Refugees generally feel that the Home Affaires department is better off any where else than in any black town ship in this province
Generally at WWWA we are of the view that peoples views are important if any kind of change needs to take place, the refugee community is relatively happy with the way Mrs Dlamini Zuma has handled issues and they believe that with all the support that she deserves she will make a difference to the departments
We also believe that Zuma has brought real change to the refugee reception centre here in Cape Town we also believe that she could not do so with out the help of the entire team that she has put together, we want to congratulate her on her humanitarian mission and to say to her it takes a woman of great courage, love, empathy, sympathy, power and great moral standing to do what you are doing.
Madame you embody all the good things that a child could want in a mother, and that a nation can want in a citizen, you have inspired us a great deal and we are proud of you.
I think you make south africa proud

Friday, September 4, 2009

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Refugees in S.A Speak 2

We continue to share our findings with you . the views of the individuals are not influenced by our peer educators or by the the work that we do in the community . We allow people to express themselves. WWWA ,OR its partners CAN not be held responsible for any of the comments made by our clients .

From S
“Getting work’ permits: waiting in queue does not help.
Finding accommodation becomes a problem because the landlord does not consider the asylum paper
To get a permanent work becomes a problem because you cannot sign a contract for 5 years while you have a permit which will expire in 3 months.
Some employers do not consider asylum seekers.
To be a refugee is always a disadvantage.
Some companies do not consider our education qualifications
The transfer of documents is very slow”

From S M

Being a refugee in South Africa

“It is good to be in South Africa because it is a free country compared to ours. The good part of it is that there are a lot of organizations open to all asylum seekers especially if you are interested. For example if it is your first time, they can help get accommodation, food and further studying.

For you to be a registered refugee you must have papers. Our cry now is that our papers are being rejected and if you go for an extension they just give you thirty days to leave the country. Why should I go back to my country where I ran away from because of politics and I know I am a wanted person? I rescued myself and escaped death to a nice South Africa. Now, why do they want me back to that place where my brothers and sisters died then severe torture?

I was also a victim during the xenophobic violence and I was beaten and my property was destroyed. Since then I have not recovered such a nose.

You can have a chance of getting a job but expired papers are affecting us much. Another embarrassing thing is opening a bank account with a three month valid paper. They accept but after three months the account will be blocked. Now I cannot withdraw. We need help or to be compensated especially us the victims of xenophobia. It is very painful to lose something from sweat worth over R 2,000 just in minutes. South Africa is a good country to all nations and please do not forget to help us. Do not send us away until Zimbabwe is fine. God bless you.”

From Jef”

“To whom it may concern.
I think being a refugee is a problem because we are having problems in getting asylum papers. I have been at Home Affairs in Cape Town to get a permit. Now they say they have cancelled the permit. You have to go to Nyanga. It is very unfair because there are corrupt security guards who are working in hand with guns and are demanding money from us. So how are we going to get these refugee statuses? There is a situation when the Home Affairs staff only serves ten people. Is there any other place where we can go to as far as asylum papers are concerned? You cannot even open a bank account without an asylum paper, and you cannot find work.

Can the Minister of Home Affairs do something before the situation goes out of hand? The Zimbabwean people are mostly affected. It is very easy to catch these corrupt security guards. You can even put on plain clothes to assess what is taking place.”

Looking forward to a positive response.

From P. N

How I am finding things to be a refugee in South Africa.

“We want to live legally here in South Africa but the situation at Nyanga Refugee Home Affairs is pathetic.

Why do people have to sleep outside Home Affairs and not get assistance? Let alone there is no help desk where you can ask for the service you need.

People are being killed by the foot-bridge as well as being mugged of cell phones.

Zimbabweans are not being treated equally here in South Africa in respect of jobs, education and accommodation.

Why are they accepting us as refugees when they are not helping us? Yet we understand they get funds from UN and NGOs.

I strongly feel we are being treated like animals here in SA. South Africans should know that one day it is going to be them with problems and they will need refuge somewhere else.”

From N S
“We are here in South Africa for seven years. We are still using asylum. Please South Africa we are told we are not refugees. Just beeze Zim is not at war. He got a virus so you are not a refugee. So what can we do? Please UNHCR help us. Can you help us remove that group of Zim people then you can start work a new system.

On Monday 15 June we were attacked by a South African from whom we rent our house. We pay everything but were thrown out in the street, by that man my brother’s cupboards his wife and children and every thing they had . . This happened something past midnight. Now we still stay here in a camp .some times there is no thing not even water to drink , if I had a choice I will go back but it is just too far without money . So help us. I am a refugee now. My paper has expired, I am not working and I am supposed to renew in PE. I do not have money to go there. So what can I do?

From M
Being a refugee in South Africa

“The major problem is on the definition of the refugee. Being in S.A. firstly on its own means that one is running away from something which is life threatening, Being economically disadvantaged is not looked at as a life threatening issue here in South Africa. If one is economically disadvantaged it means automatically you are being disadvantaged of viable source of living. To go for a year or two without work is worse than living without access to drinking water. The South African government would consider me a refugee if there is someone holding a knife towards me in my country. If I am threatened by having no access to drinking water they do not consider me a refugee. Do they not realize that life is so short and being denied of good economic life is worse than apartheid to my life and even more life threatening to me? Since then in this century did they ever experience such multitude of immigrants and yet do not realize we are also refugees. I hate the word opportunity seekers as the people of Home Affairs call us. I think that they should help us .if we go into full fledge war and kill and burn down our nation , then they agree , we are refugees , must all of Africa go up in flames ? l ask the UN what is it that they want from us another genocide ? please wake up from your slubers, go find some where else for your genocide , Zim, will not be didtroyed by your deceptions ”

At Home Affairs, Nyanga

Nom: YK
Adresse: 5 Geneva Portland, Mitchells’ Plain

« Moi, en tant que réfugie, je demande l’aide au gouvernement, qu’ils m’aident dans ceci:

J’aimerais avoir une formation, une spécialité de métier que je dois exercer et j’ai envie de continuer mes études, mais je ne connais pas encore bien la langue. Mon soutien majeur est de trouver un pour avoir de petits moyens.

Auparavant, j’ai suivi les cours d’anglais à Cape Town. Je payais le train et après quelques jours, je n’avais plus la possibilité de prendre le transport. Présentement, je n’ai pas les moyens de me rendre dans les cours, réunions ainsi que la ou on peut faire un petit plus pour nous réfugies car j’habite a Mitchells Plain ».


Monday, July 6, 2009

refugees in S.A. speak

This morning on the news we watched as scores of people were being man handled and arrested by the police in down town Johannesburg. We also listened to the reporters saying South Africa has became one of the top ten no go countries for refugees , this information brought with it mixed massages of sadness, anger and frustration .
As an organization that works in trying to make life easier for the less fortunate members of our community, one begins to wonder if this is going to be all in vain, as more and more refugees as well as the less fortunate South African who find themselves in this situation are treated like sub humans by the very same people who are meant to protect them. “If you are poor you do not deserve respect, you have no dignity, and most of all you are not human at all”. Is this the world we want to live in?
How did the poor became SO very poor any way?
In the days leading up to world refugee day celebrations on June 20, WWWA peer educators did information sharing with member of the refugee community in different service offices, like the DHA, Scalabrini Refugee Services and at the Cape Town refugee centre in wynbery, people were asked to share their feelings about what it means to be a refugee in the Republic of South Africa,
We wish to share with our partners and friends in the next coming weeks some of these feelings. Comments and suggestions are welcome.

From M

"Even the government itself does not take us as human beings here in South Africa, especially on the police side. If you are a foreigner and you are treated badly, the police do not treat you seriously when you report to them.

As an example, my brother was shot dead in Philippi on 23 /05 2009, and the police were notified. They came to the scene to take a statement and some pictures and some bullets ., but what surprised me is that on 10 / 6 / 2009 we tried to get help to bury my brother, the police said that they had no such case reported to them. I thought that they did not take this case seriously because he was a foreigner."

From T

"The problem that I have as a refugee is that when I entered South Africa in April last year, I tried to apply for asylum. I managed to get one month stay then my asylum was rejected and I was supposed to leave the country within 30 days or to appeal before 14 days. I tried to go for appeal but they kept postponing until the given days were over.
I was told to get a letter from a lawyer or to come with one, but the lawyers said that they needed R 2,500 to go and stand for me. Because I was not working, I could not get that money and this problem is still blocking the situation: I am a code 14 drivers but everywhere I go they ask for a valid paper and a bank account. I cannot have a bank account if I do not have a refugee status. I have been struggling since September last year. I do not know if you can help to have a status."

From Ph8

"People in South Africa select refugees according to their country of origin. Usually, those from Zimbabwe are disliked everywhere.

Sometimes South Africans take chances to do whatever pleases them to the refugees. Here are some of the things which are done by South African citizens who are given authority:
- they put the law into their hands
- they are not saving people as the government has tasked them to do
- Even the police are not doing their job properly: they select to handle problems according to your place of origin. I am saying this because my brother Tinashe was shot and killed in his room in Philippi, but the police did not take it seriously. They did not even try to investigate the story because they knew that the deceased was a foreigner and a refugee. One week after the tragedy, they located three guys in the room where the deceased was killed, but they did not give time to trace the story. They just let them go. We are still breathing fire because we do not have any document from the police so that we can seek assistance to bury the deceased. This tragedy happened at house no 16020, Tshatshu road, Philippi. The police came but they could not produce any written document for the murder until we contacted the Scalabrini Refugee Service for help. This is how they deal with foreigners.
- I suppose they should clearly state that they cannot assist refugees or foreigners so that we know that there is no one to protect us."

to be continued