Xenophobia shames us

JUST more than a year xenophobia reared its ugly head and seems to be returning to haunt SA again. T hough this is happening in Cape Town, we cannot pretend not to remember that the last time around, the violent attacks on immigrants started in one area and everyone assumed it would not spread .

JUST more than a year xenophobia reared its ugly head and seems to be returning to haunt SA again. T hough this is happening in Cape Town, we cannot pretend not to remember that the last time around, the violent attacks on immigrants started in one area and everyone assumed it would not spread .

It is history now that more than 150000 people were displaced, and hundreds more raped or murdered across South Africa.

We cannot ignore what is going on in Cape Town. Perhaps this is an opportunity for the provincial and national governments to find common purpose and deal this cancer a decisive and fatal blow.

We report elsewhere in the paper today that local business people are said to be leading a campaign against foreigners. Their hate is now fuelled by commercial rivalry. Instead of learning from their competitors how to be better business people, they have taken the idea of a hostile take-over too far.

We should also remember that evil flourishes when good people do nothing. Communities should isolate those criminals in their midst bent on a campaign of hate. It will never be enough to express our shock and horror. We should expose these criminals for what they are.

Crime and joblessness were a feature of township life long before foreigners arrived. No honest person can blame them for the sorry plight many South Africans today.

We need the government, through the intelligence and crime prevention agencies, to show the leadership it failed to do a year ago.

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