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Behind the shops: Somali traders finally tell their story of ...


Crime and prejudice

Behind the shops: Somali traders finally tell their story of pariahdom

Book exposes how anti-immigrant groups, police and politicians band together to stir life-threatening prejudice

Senior science reporter

The scourge of murders of Somali shopkeepers is buried in the latest crime statistics as many turn a blind eye to “yet another” story, such as the recent one in which two such shopkeepers were brutally murdered in Lwandle, Strand, near Cape Town.

And while shop owners who were the victims of looting in KwaZulu-Natal and Johannesburg saw an outpouring of sympathy, Somali shopkeepers who are constantly looted get no such attention.

But for Vanya Gastrow, a lawyer and researcher on refugee rights, these hate crimes sit atop daily lived experiences of prejudice, economic curtailment and social and political exclusion...

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