Backyard politics

South Africa still has not learnt how to deal with the foreign Africans in our midst.

South Africa still has not learnt how to deal with the foreign Africans in our midst.

Just look at what is happening at the camp in Glenanda, Johannesburg, for those displaced by the recent murderous xenophobia.

Heavy-handed officials are threatening to deport all those who don't register for a photo ID that will allow them to stay in South Africa for another six months.

The foreigners are wary of the new card because many have been granted refugee status, which places no restriction on how long they may live here.

All the angst and distress could have been avoided if a senior Home Affairs official had taken a few minutes to tell the traumatised foreigners that the new card would not limit their rights.

After all, Home Affairs Minister Nosiviwe MapisaNqakula has promised victims of the xenophobic attacks that no one in the camps will be deported.

Newspapers throughout the country have already reported that the command obviously didn't filter down to her bureaucrats. Ever since the attacks, they have continued to send thousands of victims back home to bleak lives of mayhem and murder.

All our politicians' vacuous speeches about African brotherhood are meaningless claptrap until we take care of those in our own backyard.

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