Scalabrini Centre Report – Toil and Trouble De Doorns

On the morning of 17 November 2009, Zimbabwean residents were ordered by the community of De Doorns in the Western Cape to leave the informal settlements in De Doorns. Fearing violence and aware of their precarious physical safety, they fled. This had come in the wake of a prior violent displacement of 68 members 3 days earlier and the clear articulation during public meetings of the intentions of the host community to remove them. The intentions of the community had become common knowledge in the months preceding the attack. Host community members looted and dismantled their shacks as the Zimbabweans fled. The local Police did not intervene until reinforcements arrived. By then it was too late and an estimated 2500 non-nationals, 10% of the local population, were displaced. Disaster Management intervened and a Safety Site within the town was erected to accommodate the victims. This xeno – cleansing is another example of sporadic incidents of hate crimes that continue to plague South Africa in the wake of the 2008 violence.

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