Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Complete Madness

Image of South Africa in the eyes of the world = down the toilet. Thanks Mbeki. Thanks ANC.

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The upsurge in violence against foreigners in South Africa is a grave cause for concern. It is the height of madness by people who had for a long time been refugees in other people's countries across the world.

It is sad for innocent so-called foreigners to be losing their lives the way they are.

Of course, it is not every South African who is involved in these barbaric acts. There are self-respecting citizens in South Africa who would not go out of their way to engage in such savage attacks. But now the whole world is watching South Africa and all South Africans are painted with one brush.

When these xenophobic attacks started, they were restricted to Johannesburg but have since spread to other parts of the country. In the process, many migrants, mostly from Mozambique and Zimbabwe, have been killed and their properties destroyed. Something must be done to stop this madness. It should not only be left to South Africa to address this problem. SADC should intervene since people from other countries are involved.

The South Africans should understand that the Zimbabweans and Mozambicans in their country (South Africa) are not there for the love of fun. Sagging economies in their respective countries forced them to leave. When the situation improves, they will definitely return to their countries. South Africans were at some point in the same situation when apartheid was at its peak. Thousands fled and sought refuge in neighbouring countries. They were accepted and taken care of. Why can't they reciprocate the hospitality that they were afforded? Or have they just forgotten because apartheid is no longer there?

The unprovoked killing of fellow Africans does not bode well for South Africa, which FIFA has allowed to host the 2010 World Cup finals. Already there is a problem of crime in South Africa and it has been an issue that has to be addressed for people to feel safe enough when they come for the 2010 World Cup games. It has been a struggle and there are doubts whether many people as anticipated will come to southern Africa. The killings and destruction of foreigners' property have severely compromised South Africa's position as a World Cup destination.

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