HOMELESS AGAIN AFTER VIOLENCE MARS HIS RETURN

Cape Argus , 19 June 2008

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An Ethiopian immigrant fears for his life after being shot just two days after returning to Masiphumelele. Wubshet Getahun showed the Cape Argus the bullet holes in the frame of his new shop - Mr Roberts' Cash Store - which he set up 10 days ago. Then two days later his home, next to the shop, was shot at three times in one night. Now, after an attempt at reintegration, he has been left homeless for a second time. Getahun had been living at the Soetwater safety site before returning to Masiphumelele on June 9. But after the shooting on June 11 he fled, leaving the running of his shop to another Ethiopian man. "Now I live from house to house. One night I sleep at my friend's house. The next night I sleep at another friend's house," he said. He said he returned to the shop only when he had to. He had decided to return to Masiphumelele after Premier Ebrahim Rasool announced that it was safe. "I made all the effort and borrowed money to set up a new shop. And now look what's happening," he said. Last Wednesday at about 8pm, he closed the security gate of the shop and was selling goods through a hole in the door. A man came to the shop and asked him for a cigarette, but as soon as Getahun turned to get the cigarette he heard a gun cocked. The gun misfired and the man left. But, as he ran off, he fired two shots in the air. Getahun explained that the second attack was at 1am. While he was sleeping, someone fired two shots through his door. Later, at 4.40am, there were two shots fired into his bedroom wall. "Had they shot 10cm lower they would have hit me," he said. He said he had laid a complaint at the Ocean View police station. Further down the road, another Ethiopian shop was robbed two nights ago. Shopowner Samuel Matthews said he was robbed during the night while he slept behind the counter. Ocean View police confirmed on Wednesday that a charge had been laid.