THE recent upsurge of xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals in the Mpumalanga township of Balfour and elsewhere in the country suggests that the lull in such attacks has been largely deceptive.
There clearly remains vestiges of the menace, perhaps underestimated by the authorities so far, but clearly showing signs of re-emerging while negating national efforts to rid our society of this scourge.
The latest targeting of immigrants by protesters has unfairly made them the unwitting pawns in a dangerous display of brinkmanship by the protesters, rolling back the ground gained towards promoting our country as a friendly destination.
By venting their anger on foreigners, as happened to Pakistani businessmen at Balfour's Siyathemba township in the past few days, the protesters have obviously hit on the ingenious ploy to commandeer government's attention to their grievances by targeting its soft underbelly.
While we sympathise with the communities in their struggle for improved service delivery, we cannot condone the increasing criminality marring their protests.
Targeting foreigners is counter-productive.
Such actions serve only to promote hatred and intolerance, and the maligning of our country unfair, which is hardly the desired goal of the protests.
Xenophobia dehumanises not only its victims but also its perpetrators, whose treacherous acts make them all the more less human.