The situation in Ficksburg and Clocolan has become extremely tense, especially for the people of foreign origin and foreign traders in the area.
The DMPSP / MILITIA Research and Emergency Support Team (REST) deployed to the area shortly after the first protests on the 23rd March 2011 to investigate and mediate the issue surrounding the attacks on foreign owned shops.
More than 12 shops belonging to foreign nationals had been looted or burnt in Ficksburg and 17 shops in Clocolan. 75 Ethiopian traders in both Ficksburg and Clocolan were left displaced.
Our investigations found that the issues were mainly related to service delivery and the candidates list for the up-coming elections. However we also found that tensions between local shop owners, Bangladeshi / Pakistani Shop owners and the Ethiopian shop owners led to the looting of the mainly Ethiopian owned shops under the guise of the Service Delivery Protests.
We also found extremely disturbing that school children, some as young as 14 years of age, were mainly being used by organizers to conduct the protests and looting rampages.