Open letter to South Africa’s students‚ universities and government‚ represented by Minister in the .
Alexandra exploded in such a xenophobic frenzy that our paralysed government needed an electronic chip inserted in its brain to induce action, albeit of the robotic kind that we see three weeks on.
Now the affluent blacks of Midrand are saying, "not on my doorstep", to fellow Africans being rescued from us.
Maybe it is easy for me to pontificate because "they" are not being housed down the road in my leafy suburban neighbourhood. Not yet, anyway.
We do not have a crisis. We are not going to build refugee camps, hissed Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula, the great denialist on the Home Affairs front.
We apologise to you, our African brothers and sisters, Winnie Madikizela-Mandela said amid the boiling cauldron, the gleam of pangas and burning shacks.
"Please help us, Mrs Madiba", a headline captured the heart-rending cry for help by a desperate woman to Madikizela-Mandela.
The president went to Japan to enjoy a hearty laugh with the Japanese prime minister.
In Springs Jacob Zuma parried contention. Go away with your foreigners, they told him. No, you will calm down, he retorted.
We all saw the photograph of the burning, Mozambican Ernesto Nhamuave, which spurred President Thabo Mbeki to some action before he undertook his Asian sojourn, mobilising the army and eventually saying something not so profound on public television.
Well, in Gauteng the government made a move in consequence. Local government MEC Qedani Mahlangu would oversee a process the dour Mapisa-Nqakula said would not prevail.
Now tents adorn the skyline in a quest to accommodate the victims of fear and persecution from their own.
However, the crux of the matter here is the hypocrisy displayed by those who cried "brother, dear brother", when our country went into a fit of madness.
I am referring to the black Africans of Country View and Corlett Gardens.
They saw red when Mahlangu laid out her tent city next to their posh houses.
"These are our brothers and sisters and we feel for them. But there should have been proper consultation before the camps were brought to our area," said resident Caswell Molokoane.
Most of his neighbours hid behind the lack of consultation on the part of government for their ire.
But they were steadfast in saying their properties would be devalued and that crime would rise.
This as a result of the influx of displaced foreign nationals.
They wiped the sweat of anger from their brows, these Africans, as they made their intentions clear.
It is good to speak about the plight of the displaced people at dinner parties, but completely different when you come face to face with the reality of their suffering.
The government might be reacting in a staccato fashion to a problem that is largely of its own making, but for goodness sake it is doing something.
I can understand if white South Africans climb the soapbox and declare to drive the "foreigners" back to their countries.
But we have a serious problem if indigenous Africans want to herd their own out of a part of their continent.