A Forest is coming to our neck of the woods. #houtbay #hangberg

Taken form iol.co.za, written by Daneel Knoetze:

Cape Town – Hollywood star Forest Whitaker has thrown his weight behind the rebuilding of the Hangberg community in Hout Bay.

The informal settlement was a hotbed of protest action and clashes between police and eviction authorities and residents in 2010.

Hangberg leaders and other stakeholders brokered a ceasefire through a mediator, resulting in the drafting of a peace and mediation accord.

In the two years since, the accord had been used as the framework for the community to start “rebuilding itself”, said Brian Williams, who acted as mediator in 2010. Shortcomings in housing, as well as facilities for sports and recreation, health and community safety had been addressed.

Whitaker, pictured, a UN Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation goodwill ambassador for peace and reconciliation and founder of the Peace Earth NGO, met community leaders two weeks ago.

The star of The Last King of Scotland, who is shooting a film in Cape Town, was not available for comment on Friday but Shanaaz Halim, spokeswoman for Hangberg’s Peace and Mediation Forum, described him as a “humble person with a genuine heart”.

“So many people in South Africa don’t even know Hangberg’s story and the groundbreaking work that is being done by and for the community,” she said. “To have someone with such international acclaim show interest is really like a dream come true. We trust and hope that connections between our community and Mr Whitaker will continue even after he has returned to America.”



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