Attacks a blight on SA

When the South African Football Association won the bid to host the 2010 World Cup, their message was loud and clear that it was for the benefit of the mother continent.

When the South African Football Association won the bid to host the 2010 World Cup, their message was loud and clear that it was for the benefit of the mother continent.

Safa, through the Local Organising Committee, has so far kept its promise of making it an African World Cup by roping in some of the continent's soccer greats to serve as its ambassadors.

The ambassadors include Cameroonian Roger Milla, Morocco's Mustapha Hadji, Zambian Kalusha Bwalya, George Weah (Liberia) and Abedi Pele Ayew (Ghana).

Many Africans were over the moon when Irvin Khoza, chairman of the LOC, unveiled the World Cup's official slogan: "Ke Nako, Celebrate Africa's Humanity" in Durban last November.

It is against this background that the barbaric actions of certain hooligans, which is engulfing South Africa as foreign nationals are being attacked, cannot go unchallenged.

We cannot allow a few lunatics to turn our country into some kind of a banana republic, which is not good for the tourism boom that is expected to result from the World Cup in 2010.

The 2009 Confederations Cup and World Cup will both be a laughing stock if Africans and other foreign nationals do not come to our country.

We all know that many South Africans expect to benefit from the World Cup in one way or the other, but that won't be possible if the xenophobic attacks continue.

The worse part is that these brutal attacks against fellow African brothers and sisters occur in May when we are celebrating Africa Day (May 25).

Some of us who travel to other African countries regularly can attest that the brothers and sisters embrace us with warmth and care. We should do the same.

While yours truly agrees that South Africans need houses, jobs and are fighting against the ever rising interest rates, but the attacks on foreign nationals are misdirected.

With almost everything rising daily, South Africans should be taking the government to task to deliver on their promises - period.

Credit to sports leaders, from Khoza, Danny Jordaan, Molefi Oliphant and Kaizer Motaung to Peter Ngatane, who openly called for an end to the xenophobic attacks.

I strongly urge South Africans to unite by naming and shaming these morons who are tarnishing the image of our country.

Enough of the xenophobic attacks!

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