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Press Release: Makhaya Migrant Award finally awarded to rightful winner

Press Release: Makhaya Migrant Award finally awarded to rightful winner

Published by Legal Resources Centre 05 April 2018

For Immediate Release: 05 April 2018

On 3 April 2018 the Department of Home Affairs paid the Khulumani Support Group R100 000 in prize money, following a lengthy battle about the correct winner of the 2015 Mkhaya Migrant Award.

The Mkhaya Migrant Awards were launched in 2015 by the Minister of Home Affairs in an effort to address xenophobic violence against foreign migrants in South Africa and honour the valuable work done by the migrant community. Khulumani Support Group nominated Mbulelo Lipile, the founder of the Makhanda Foreign Shop Owners’ Dialogue Platform, in the category of “Most Integrated Community”. The nomination was motivated by Mr Lipile’s efforts to secure a peaceful co-existence among local and foreign shop owners based on civic agreements forged amongst all role-players and witnessed by local SAPS officers.

The Forum spearheaded an initiative that demonstrated the spirit of inclusiveness towards migrants and foreign nationals by actively promoting tolerance, integration, unity and social cohesion. In response to xenophobic attacks against foreign nationals who owned spaza shops in Makhanda, the Forum aided in resolving conflicts between the local and foreign spaza shop owners as well as conflicts between shop owners and the local community. The impact of the Forum was significant in Makhanda and the model was viewed by the Eastern Cape SAPS as the best model to be replicated in other troubled areas in the province.

Although Mr Lipile’s nomination was accepted as the winning nomination, the Minister of Home Affairs decided to award the prize to Makana Municipality on behalf of the Makana Community.

The prize consisted of a trophy and R100 000 which had to be paid to a charity of the winner’s choice. On 27 February 2018, the Khulumani Support Group and Mr Lipile, represented by the Legal Resources Centre in Makhanda, instituted proceedings in the Makhanda High Court to compel the Minister of Home Affairs to award the prize to Mr Lipile and pay the prize money to Khulumani Support Group as the charity of his choice.

The Department of Home Affairs agreed to settle the matter and pay the money to the rightful winner. The R100 000 will be used to further the work of the Foreign Shop Owners’ Dialogue in creating a peaceful community free from xenophobic violence.

ENDS

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