No one hates foreigners like South Africans do. South Africa is said to be officially the most xenophobic nation in the world. So much for being xenophobic and all that but why go to the criminal extent of murdering about 50 immigrants? South Africa’s President Thabo Mbeki was reported to have described the saga as “disgraceful” but I say it is far more than disgraceful. It is outrightly criminal and those behind the attacks must be prosecuted to the full extent of the law!
I put the blame of the criminal attacks fully at the doorstep of the South African government. I’d quote excerpts of a recent article by Rowan Philip published in The Times aptly titled: “No one hates foreigners like we do“.
Responding to the shock findings, political analyst Moeletsi Mbeki, brother of President Thabo Mbeki, blamed the government’s “failure to acknowledge the crisis in Zimbabwe, failure to control the borders, and failure to grant these people refugee status” as the “real reason” for levels of xenophobia and the past month’s violence.
Instead, University of Pretoria Professor Hussein Solomon, former immigrants project head for the Institute for Security Studies, said attitudes stemmed from “perhaps the most lopsided regional economics in the world”, in which, per capita, Mozambicans earn 36 times less than South Africans, and Zimbabweans far less than that.
“When the economy turned sour here, it was always going to happen — inevitable, but also predictable, and the government has failed to act to counter it,” said Solomon.
“The Mbeki government’s refusal,” according to Solomon, to respond to the scale of the migration with any national policy, as well as the withholding of police statistics on the involvement of foreigners in crime;
# The failure of the government to heed isolated xenophobic attacks and regular warnings from the SA Human Rights Commission, Idasa and the National Intelligence Agency; and
# “A perpetuation of negative stereotypes of migrants in the South African press” — and from public figures — according to a major report by Queens University, Canada, and Samp, which found that 52% of press reports on migration from 2000 to 2003 included negative references to migrants.
Show me a great nation, and I will show you a nation where immigrants have played a significant role in the development of that nation’s economic development. No single nation can do it alone.
This serious attack on foreigners in addition to the recent power crisis is making me wonder: is this Rainbow nation on the brink of an implosion? So much for African Union and all that…