Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Foreigners streaming into Western Cape

Foreigners streaming into Western Cape
2012-02-08 15:30

Parliament - Foreigners are streaming into the Western Cape in their thousands, becoming both the victims and perpetrators of crime, MPs heard on Wednesday.

"An estimated 8 000 a month are flowing into the province," provincial police commissioner Arno Lamoer told Parliament's police portfolio committee.

The committee was being briefed by each of the nine provincial police commissioners on crime statistics, following the release of these in September.

"If you see the influence of foreign nationals in the Western Cape, you will be shocked," Lamoer told MPs.

He invited them to take a trip with him to the Bellville railway station.

"You will see what it looks like there with foreign nationals - and it's only Somalians we have in that [Bellville] area."

His power-point presentation to the committee - a copy of which was not immediately available - also referred to Nigerians, Congolese, and Namibians in the province.

Lamoer said home affairs in the Western Cape was processing hundreds of foreigners each week.

"Home affairs gave an indication that at their processing centre, where they [foreigners] apply for asylum, we're talking about 500 to 800 that come per day. The processing is about 800 per week."


Lamoer referred to a gang of Namibians robbing houses along so-called green belts in Cape Town's southern suburbs.

"There was a group of foreign nationals, Ovambos from Namibia, that we arrested. We arrested them but they were released on bail."

Foreigners were also on the receiving end when it came to crime.

Police had investigated the rise in business robberies in the province, which started after the 2010 World Cup, and had discovered that only a third of the victims were South African.

Many foreigners had established spaza shops or were operating businesses from containers or from their homes. Many did not bank their takings and slept on the premises.

"One of the major problems... is the spaza shops, the container shops, and the house shops. Eighty percent of business robberies involve these establishments.

"But only 33% of the victims of these robberies are South Africans; the rest are all foreign nationals. We have a serious problem."

Lamoer also questioned the legality of many of these businesses. He criticised Cape Town authorities for not properly applying city by-laws.

"What we've discovered is that foreign nationals are not supposed to trade unless they have a working permit and a trade permit."

Illegal fire arms

Lamoer said this was a "major challenge" and one that he was taking up with the department of home affairs.

He also reported that foreigners were arming themselves.

"We arrested - from April 1 to December 31 last year - a total of 72 foreign nationals with 70 illegal firearms. They are arming themselves because they need to protect themselves."

On illegal drugs, Lamoer said police in the province had, since April 1 2010, confiscated drugs with a street value of over R12bn.

"Every single day we confiscate drugs," he said.

The police, together with their traffic counterparts, were working to block the entrance of drugs into the province.

"We started in January last year, specifically in the Beaufort West area. In the first week, we stopped buses, as well as taxis and courier vans... and in the first week confiscated R50m worth of drugs from these buses."

The police had contacted the bus companies and instituted a scheme to tag loaded luggage.

"Some of them listened, but last week, on Friday, we got another bus with khat on board. There was no tag. We arrested the bus drivers and we confiscated the bus...."

The owners of the bus where now giving the police "very good co-operation".

A minibus that was stopped while being transported on an auto-carrier in the southern Cape was found to be "full of dagga".

Major problem

Lamoer said illegal liquor was another big problem.

"We confiscate liquor every week. Over the past year, more than a million litres was confiscated."

On gang violence in the Western Cape, Lamoer said this was linked to drugs.

"As soon as we put on the pressure and confiscate drugs, the gang violence goes up."

Lamoer said tik was not the most-used drug.

"Heroin is the one, and it's more addictive than any other drug... It is a major, major problem," he said.

The provincial police commissioners from the Free State and North West provinces, who preceded Lamoer at the briefing, both also reported an increase in crime related to foreigners.


Read more on: cape town | refugees | crime | narcotics

Jan van Riebeeck (Johan Anthonisz van Riebeeck)

Cape Town history - South Africa

Jan van Riebeeck was born on 21. April 1619 in Culemborg (Holland). At a young age, he worked as a writer at the Dutch East India Company and learnt the trade of salesperson. Later he was asked to manage a trading office in Japan. Due to disagreements, he was recalled to the mother company in 1647 because he handled too many other companies in Japan, and the Dutch East India Company did not approve.

The Company decided to establish a half-way station at the Cape of Good Hope. Due to his international experience, Jan van Riebeeck was given this task.

Jan van Riebeeck departed with five ships and reached Table Bay on the 6. April 1652 with 2 ships. The other 3 ships arrived later, because they carried more cargo. Jan van Riebeeck was accompanied by his wife and four-month old son.

His task was to establish a provisions station for seamen who were travelling to the East. Furthermore, he was commissioned to build a fort (Fort de Goede Hoop), a hospital and a supply station.

His recommendation to settle farmers (free burghers) in the surrounding of Cape Town was encouraged and thus Cape Town developed well.

Every free burgher was given land and this formed the basis for the supply station. Initially the free burghers experienced many problems with the native Hottentot people.

After many conflicts, the Hottentots moved further inland. They feared the white man’s modern weapons. The white people also brought unknown diseases into the country, which affected the native people. Jan van Riebeeck permitted slavery, and in 1657 the first slaves from India, Indonesia, Madagascar and parts of East Africa arrived in Cape Town.

Jan van Riebeeck received a new challenge and left Cape Town on 7.03.1662, to take up a position as President and commanding officer in Melaka. Malakka is situated on the southwest coast of Malaysia. Melaka in south east Asia connects the Andamen sea with the south Chinese sea and the Java sea. This was a special sea connection for early sailors and still is today.

Jan van Riebeeck had laid the groundwork in the Cape, and more than 200 white inhabitants as well as hundreds of slaves lived in Cape Town, in order to maintain the supply station for the sailors. At the time of his departure, Cape Town had already developed into a small town with four streets and many small houses.

The farmers could plant vegetables and fruit and even achieve up to 3 harvests per year due to the fertile ground in Cape Town. The demand for meat was initially covered by bartering with the natives. Later, cattle breeding was initiated.

Jan van Riebeeck died on 18.01.1677 in Batavia, today known as Jakarta in Indonesia.

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