For fellow Africans, South Africa represents a land of prospect and shelter of acceptance as written in our Constitution; “South Africa belongs to all who live in it”, but the recent surge of violence has tainted this image and sent foreigner nationals bolting for safety. The resurgence of anti-immigrant violence in Gauteng saw a car dealership burnt to ashes and a fellow human burnt alive, with spectators watching and taking videos to feed their social media platforms.
Media reports have labelled these as xenophobic attacks, but the question of xenophobia must be given context or else it simply appears to be mindless and brutal violence. These are not xenophobic attacks, it is AFROPHOBIA. It is Afrophobia because it is only black Africans that are being attacked. It is a shame that South Africans do not want it to be easier for African foreign nationals to start small businesses in South Africa because, in their skewed view, black foreign nationals are living in better conditions than them, while black South Africans are still suffering in poverty and remain unemployed.
Oh cry thy beloved country, what a shame. What a shame that not one leader, be it Religious, Political or Traditional has come out to plead for the safety of our brothers and sisters. Aren’t leaders supposed to be the custodians of culture? Custodians that should educate their people about the historical links which transcend today’s national borders in Africa. After all, African tribes have similar links and these links exist all over the continent. One must remember that South Africans relied on African solidarity in their struggle against Apartheid before they resort to turn on their fellow brothers.
It is disturbing that taxi drivers in Gauteng have chosen to repay that solidarity by mercilessly killing fellow Africans. Perhaps the perpetrators do not understand their own country’s history.
The images that are making rounds on social media are showing the true image of South African men. Their brutality and vulgarity has been exposed. However, it is important to note that their anger is misdirected at foreigner nationals instead of those responsible for the hopeless conditions in which millions of South Africans continue to live. Our history is painful. 25 years into democracy, we as black South Africans are not yet Uhuru. Freedom in this country is reserved for the rich and influential. And this is why every now and then, the citizen’s anger morphs into blood-lust.
In the search for the cause of these attacks, it can be pointed to South Africa’s status which remains one of the most unequal societies in the world, the violent legacy of racial Apartheid and an ever-rising unemployment rate.
I say; so long as the number one citizen is a man, change for the better is a distant dream for us. Men continue dreaming while fellow Africans are being brutally murdered and black female bodies raped and left to die. The problem remains being men, Yes, men are to blame.
The country cannot continue pointing fingers that most of the crimes such as drug dealing, prostitution, and human trafficking are allegedly perpetrated by foreign nationals. What has the Republic’s intelligence done about these accusations? Where is the progress?
What was witnessed happening in Johannesburg and Pretoria yesterday was an Afrophobic attack, resembling all elements of self-hate among black Africans. And to sum up this tragedy, it is quite evident that there has been a thunderous absence of good leadership. It exposes the systematic violation of injustice. There is anger and hatred growing among South Africans which can be blamed on the executives’ failure to serve the poor accordingly.
Let a woman lead and there will be peace in this country!