Tuesday, 27 December 2011

Xenophobia: Will it Feed Hungry South Africans?

Are Africans being saved against themselves? Photo courtesy

Recently, a Tanzanian residing in Johannesburg received a very spooky letter ordering him and nationals of Ethiopia, Kenya, Somalia and Tanzania to leave South Africa or risk being killed by the South African Black Association (SABA). The letter alleged that the mentioned people were the source of all sufferings and miseries for black South Africans, such as disease, poverty and failure.

The letter shows how blind and ignorant some South Africans have become. Instead of looking at the real enemy, they are trying to create fake one as it was recently evidenced in Libya when the rebels were fighting to topple Muammar Gaddafi. They branded any colleague from South of Sahara a mercenary! How sick is this? Some targeted every dark skinned person little knowing Libya has over one-third of the same people.

I agree with SABA that black people in South Africa still lag behind economically. However, this is not because of other Africans living there but systemic rot left behind by the apartheid regime. Those conversant with Conflict Resolution Studies are aware how South Africa’s reconciliation under South African Truth Commission (TRC) that was chaired by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, did reconcile the country politically but not economically.

Julius Malema, former president of African National Congress (ANC) Youth wing once wanted President Jacob Zuma to nationalise South Africa's rich mines and seize white-owned land. The real step is to change the system.

Despite the fact that I do not subscribe to racially inspired ideas, if we face it, the wealth in the hands of white South Africans is totally incomparable to the little money refugees make in South Africa. Anybody who asserts that African refugees rake big money and are therefore the cause of miseries for black South Africans must be out of his mind. Even if you compare the wealth South African Indians own to peanuts African refugees make in South Africa, you’ll find allegations that there are obstacles, are but baseless and ridiculous. It is like comparing an apple and a higgs boson. It is easier to predict that after South African xenophobics are done with refugees, they will turn against, Indians and whites before they turn to each other (zulu, thembu xhosa and what not) till the last person. Once they are done with refugees from neighboring countries and found that their problems are still the same and even bigger according to time, they will turn against their colleagues. If this succeeds, the same perpetrators of xeonophobic atrocities will end up becoming refugees for the second time after tearing their country apart. This time, they will nary get warm welcome as the one they were accorded when they were fighting apartheid.

It is sad to find Africans crossing discriminating against each other as it happened in Libya and once in South Africa itself. It is sad too that the same African refugees who are threatened hail from countries that sacrificed a lot to see to it that South Africa attains independence. What an irony!

Though the letter in point may be ignored or regarded as mere desperation, if one looks back at what transpired on 23 May 2008 in Johannesburg, the authorities need to take steps before SABA wreaks havoc. In 2008 at least 42 people were killed, 23 of whom were Mozambican nationals. More than 17,000 people were displaced and more than 400 suspects arrested. What is important here is not to hate each other but to embark on dialogue with all efforts focused on the real enemy-economic entropy. This does not need someone to be astrophysist or a guru in mathematic to comprehend. South Africans affiliated with SABA are shying away from the real issue and creating a bigger problem. Economic poverty is less tormenting than the mental poverty SABA is displaying.

All refugees threated must report the incident to the authorities and their embassies. Wherever there is smoke, there is fire. Ironically, the rainbow nation does not look like the rainbow itself. Is it because the rainbow does not have the black colour in its colours? Is it because desperation and ignorance have been allowed to be the modus operandi of destitute South Africans? Indeed, they need to be helped out of this malady-xenophobia. It is important to note that hate begets hate.
Source: The African Executive Magazine Dec. 28, 2011.


Malkiory Matiya said...

Mpiganaji Manyanya Phiri kazi kwako. Mhango umefanya vema kuchokoza.

NN Mhango said...

Malkiory sijachokoza. Hiyo ndiyo hali halisi ya hao ndugu zetu ambao kidogo wanaonekana kama wamesahau hisani yetu.

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