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Is SA to blame for xenophobic violence?

MMEGI EDITOR
Recently, South Africa has been in the news for the wrong reasons again. The so-called xenophobic violence has reared its ugly head in some parts of Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal provinces.

It is said that attacks on foreign-owned businesses ensued after some local truck drivers started a nationwide strike to protest against employment of foreign drivers.

In this mayhem, roads were blocked and foreign-driven vehicles targeted and torched. It has been reported this week that unemployment rate in South Africa, the second richest economy in Africa is around 28%.

These South African lorry drivers feel other Africans have taken their jobs and they are left with nothing to sustain themselves and their families, hence this violence.

And some African nationals were blamed for peddling drugs in South Africa. The silence from the South African government in relation to this crazy bedlam was deafening. It was only this week that the leadership condemned these despicable acts by some of its criminal elements. That South Africa is home to millions of undocumented migrants is understandable, but there are ways to resolve the problem. Resorting to violence that has been well-documented in the media is not one of them.

We agree that the South African government is partly to blame for this violence that is recurring every year.

Why they allow undocumented migrants into their shores boggles the mind. Africa is home to ungovernable, despotic and corrupt countries. Majority of these are Banana Republics and South Africa, due to its wealth is the nectar of the economically challenged migrants.

The poor Africans running away from strife in their respective

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countries end up in South Africa doing menial jobs that should be reserved for the locals.

One of the causes of this violence is that the locals end up feeling neglected and therefore blame the poor migrants for their social and economic status. If majority of African governments continue to misgovern their countries, South Africa cannot cope to absorb millions of economic migrants. There is bound to be conflict amongst the locals and foreigners for crumbs of the economic cake.

We all understand that South Africa recovered from colonialism and apartheid in 1994, and it will take many years to reduce inequality amongst its citizens, especially the blacks and whites.

During that dark period, South Africans were all over Africa and other continents running away from the white minority rule. The rest of Africa contributed immensely to the liberation of this great country. That our people in Botswana paid extremely for the independence of South Africa is not disputed.

What we cannot tolerate is negligent and corrupt African leaders who are richer than their countries.  We cannot allow the status quo to prevail. All the other irresponsible African countries who are failing to provide basic needs for their people are equally to blame for these so-called xenophobic violence in the neighbouring country.

Today’s thought

“Social justice cannot be attained by violence. Violence kills what it intends to create.”

– Pope John Paul II



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