'You could see the anger in their eyes'

By Caryn Dolley

Local traders who sent warning letters to Somali shopkeepers telling them they had to get out of Gugulethu by the end of the week have apologised for their intimidating behaviour. And they now say the Somalis are welcome to stay in the area.

An interim committee of foreign and local traders from Gugulethu, has also been set up to diffuse any tensions which may still arise between the groups.

This was decided during a meeting between local and Somali traders and the police last(mon) night.

When the meeting ended last night, a number of local and Somali traders smiled and shook hands.

They said they were happy with the outcomes of the meeting.

Police had called the meeting, closed to the media, at the weekend after the warning letters were distributed.

Speaking after more than three hours of discussions with the traders, Gugulethu police spokesman Elliot Sinyangana said the meeting, at times heated, had been successful.

"Those who sent out the letters were here. You could see the anger in their eyes when they spoke. But after hearing from (the Somalis) they have apologised for the letters. They also promised to refrain from any intimidating behaviour.

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