Wednesday, May 21, 2008
Xenophobia in South Africa.Are we having buyers remorse?
In the years since the Soweto uprisings in South Africa we as African American people bonded with our brothers and sisters over there against the White minority aparthied government.Through our solidarity we convinced colleges to divest in South African industry,trade,securities,mining,and more importantly military weapons.Overriding President Reagan's veto sanctions against the South African government went into effect.Although we never asked for anything in return our brotherhood with that particular African people was affirmed.In 1990 Nelson Mandela walked out of prison and the whole world watched with amazement and hope for a better South Africa.Four years later he was elected as the country's first Black president,amid Black on Black violence that tore KwaZulu/Natal apart.Since the beginning Black people from all over the world was coming to South Africa to help build a new democracy,based on freedom,tolerance,and democracy.The number of African American's living in South Africa is striking and helped American businesses gain a foothold over there.From the start many questioned the safety of being in a developing country with so much recent violence,and although there was love for us because of what we were able to do,now there was growing resentment.The presence of Black American's who were taking top executive positions because big South African companies preferred us over them added to this resentment.Now recently South Africa is being hit with a wave of murderous anti foreign violence in which African Americans living there may not be immune to.Recently several high profile acts of violence against Black entertainers should take notice.the following is an article on the recent wave of xenophobia gripping the beloved country.-Kalagenesis
South Africa violence spreads
Attacks mostly target impoverished migrants from neighbouring African countries [AFP]
Violence against foreigners in Johannesburg, the South African capital, has reportedly spread to the east coast city of Durban.
Phindile Radebe, provincial police spokeswoman, said a crowd of almost 200 people carrying bottles and wooden clubs had gathered on a street in Durban's impoverished suburb of Umbilo and began carrying out attacks.
Radebe said on Wednesday: "A mob of plus/minus 200 were gathering on the streets carrying bottles and knobkerries [wooden clubs] busy attacking people on the streets."
"They attacked one of the taverns there believed to be owned by Nigerians."
Radebe also said that the situation was being monitored by police, who were still investigating the motive behind the attack.
The Mercury newspaper quoted John Lazarus, a Durban police spokesperson, as saying that anti-immigrants groups had ordered the foreigners to "leave KwaZulu Natal", the country's most populous province.
Xenophobic violence broke out in Johannesburg, about 600km, north of Durban, 10 days ago and has claimed 24 lives, displaced 13,000 people and seen scores injured by rampaging mobs bearing axes, machetes and razing shacks to the ground.
Locals accuse foreigners, millions of whom migrate to South Africa in search of jobs and a better life, of committing crime and depriving them of employment opportunities.
Govindsamy Mariemuthoo, Johannesburg police spokesman, said the situation had been calm overnight, with only a few incidents to the east of the city that police quickly brought under control.
He said: "It has been quiet in the area overnight but there were a few incidents. For example, in the East Rand in Gugulethu and Ramaphosa informal settlements one shack each was set alight there."
"In Tembisa seven people were arrested for public violence and in Rabie Ridge three people were shot and taken to hospital. In Kya Sands police dispersed a crowd of about 100 people."
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In light of this recent wave of violence a serious question needs to be asked about why are the Blacks attacking other Blacks on this level but never attacked the Whites the same way?Is it because in spite of a so called Black government the Whites are still protected by their skin which ties them to the racist power structure of the world.These attacks I believe are the pent up rage against both the Whites in South Africa and the ANC which many are now using to get rich.So much for the struggle!Remember a man named Cyril Ramaphosa?He was one of the ANC'S chief negotiators when Mandela was locked up.What is he doing now?Well it seems he has quit politics and joined the business community using his contacts in the government.He is now a billionaire with holdings in everything.The masses of poor Black South Africans are seething with anger and the attacks this week on Zimbabweans,Mozambiquens,Somalis ,Nigerians are just warning signs on whats to come.