Fri Oct 21 15:12:15 SAST 2016

Xenophobia is not the same as apartheid

By unknown | Jun 06, 2008 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

The letter, "Blacks must apologise to foreigners", published on June 3, refers.

The letter, "Blacks must apologise to foreigners", published on June 3, refers.

I agree with the writer that such forms of hatred must be discouraged. It is well-documented that senior African leaders have come out openly and condemned the attacks.

Mangosuthu Buthelezi personally visited the displaced refugees and discouraged further attacks. Senior cabinet ministers have made their disgust known and it is clear this is not government policy.

I differ with the letter writer when he equates these uncoordinated attacks with the suffering inflicted by apartheid. The scale and gravity of the two is simply not the same.

The apartheid state invaded countries such as Angola causing the displacement of thousands of Angolans.

Their support of the Unita rebel movement led to untold suffering. It is the apartheid state that supported Renamo in Mozambique and led to both human and economic destruction of Mozambique.

The police and the army have not been mobilised to kill foreigners as was true under white rule.

No land has been taken from foreigners under a state law equivalent to the Group Areas Act. There are no signs in public places that bar access to foreigners.

Apartheid subjugated African people in their own country and this is not comparable with two weeks of violence by poor people.

Victor Mkhize, Nelspruit


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