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Somalis plead for bank accounts

18 April 2011

Somali residents living in Barberton area who are owning smaller shops have pleaded with Mpumalanga Safety, Security and Liaison MEC to help them get bank accounts because criminals steal their cash.

The Somalis told department’s official during a “don’t buy stolen goods campaign” yesterday [Sunday 17 April] to request to the MEC Vusi Shongwe for help.  

They said they wanted to be treated as “residents of this country” and be protected by the Constitution. They said, without bank accounts, criminals were robbing their businesses because they knew that they sometimes hide money either at their shops or homes. 

They conceded that they hid money because they did not have bank accounts to save their money.

They further pleaded with the MEC to do follow-ups on cases reported at the police stations since there was no progress in terms of investigations by the police. 

They commended the department for the campaign saying it had helped them with information they needed in living peacefully in the area.

The campaign was organized by Mpumalanga Department of Safety, Security and Liaison and meant for discouraging communities from buying stolen goods as burglary cases were rife in the Barberton area.

The officials were accompanied by the members of the local police stations, councilors responsible for public safety and the members of the community policing forum. 

The department’s Social Crime Prevention Manager Mr Agrippa Mabuza encouraged the Somalis to join community structures and participate in the department’s crime prevention strategies. 

“It is our department’s responsibility to ensure that all residents of this province are safe, but at the same time we plead with you as foreign nationals to do the right thing by having correct documentation that allows you to be in a country legally,” he said.

He said that it would be difficult for the department to assist the people who were illegally in the country.

At the same time, Barberton CPF assisted the police to arrest three suspects who were found with alleged stolen goods. 


Joseph Mabuza
(013) 766 4055
Cell: 082 678 1450

Issued by Mpumalanga Department for Safety, Security and Liaison


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