SA underestimates xenophobia

Image: 123RF/ lkeskinen

It's my view that we as a country have underplayed the true and real effects of xenophobia. The trauma and psychological damage that this satanic act has done to our country and fellow black Africans is underestimated.

The fact that this diabolic behaviour is mostly directed at other blacks is too humiliating and makes a mockery of our struggles against oppression.

When xenophobic attacks gained momentum in 2008, Zimbabwe had just reached a milestone in the political global agreement. Out of the 62 people who died, 21 were South Africans, killed because they looked darker.

Since 2008 I haven't heard of any political party which is against xenophobia.

If anything, the xenophobic attacks in 2008 made a mockery of Thabo Mbeki's African renaissance project and humiliated the ANC. At the height of his power, Jacob Zuma made funny remarks about Malawi.

Recently we have seen the DA and the ANC exploit the hatred of foreigners in their duel to govern Gauteng. Earlier on, Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba went on a crazy campaign against foreigners, Nigerians to be specific. DA leader Mmusi Maimane also joined the crusade. The whole country was up in arms over foreign pastors. As yet, the same enthusiasm is missing in the face of rampant abuse of women, rape and state capture scandals.

Last week, ANC cadre David Makhura joined the circus when he insisted that "foreigners pay for government services". These are reckless and dumb statements.

Why would Makhura make such public statements without first seeking to amend the constitution that says the government must deliver services to foreigners too. Makhura also referred to Basotho, amaSwati and others as outsiders. This is really amazing! Perhaps US president Donald Trump was right that Africa is a pit toilet and indeed, in my view, leaders' xenophobic behaviour and attitude smells like it.

Khotso KD Moleko

Mangaung, Bloemfontein

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