Violence caused by ignorance

News about gangs of South Africans attacking black immigrants has been a top news item in the UK since the xenophobic attacks started.

News about gangs of South Africans attacking black immigrants has been a top news item in the UK since the xenophobic attacks started.

When I first saw the disturbing images of people wielding sticks and pangas, attacking immigrants from Zimbabwe and other countries, I couldn't help thinking of my own status as an immigrant in the UK.

I have been living here for nearly 10 years and the thought that immediately crossed my mind was: what if my white neighbours knocked on my door and said, "Pack up your things and go back to South Africa. We don't want any immigrants in Britain because they take our jobs and houses."

I came to the UK as a single mother with three children. I couldn't cope with the cost of living at home, especially the cost of educating the children.

I've worked hard for everything I have in this country.

I hope to return home in two years.

It's so sad to see what's happening in South Africa.

Why can't we tolerate other people, especially black people from other countries.

If they're being accused ofstealing or making other South Africans uncomfortable it's because the government is failing them and not giving them, especially the Zimbabweans, refugee status.

The government is helping President Robert Mugabe stay in power when the people want him out.

As much as people need to take responsibility for their own actions, our country's leaders need to lead.

The divisions that are currently gripping the ANC are also present in our society and the leaders need to realise that the buck stops with them.

I believe that much of the problem has also been caused by ignorance.

We're being taught very little about our own African history and more about European history.

Maybe if we knew more about our own heritage, we would have more pride in ourselves and a stronger sense of brotherhood.

We voted ANC because we wanted change but they're becoming complacent and there seems to be no opposition that is strong enough to stand against them.

S Hlongwane-Madi, UK

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