NEWSWATCH: South Africans, along with the world's media, are looking on in horror as xenophobic violence flares out of control across Gauteng, targeting immigrants in townships surrounding the economic heartland of the country. New media technologies bring the terror to light in awful technicolour as The Times video of a man burning to death is forwarded around the world before one can say, “How on earth did we get here again?”
Here's how the international and local media are reporting the violence that escalated out of control over the weekend:
What is happening to my South Africa This placed I loved so much The hatred has just spread And now it's man against man Oh what is happening to my South Africa
It angers me that the politicians in this country are not taking incisive steps to stop the violence. Do we have to wait until we are at the levels of ethnic cleansing experienced in other country's on the African continent before the politicians do something? Does it seem like an African trend? First independence then ethnic cleansing then dictatorship. Come on South Africa let's break the mould and be different. Let us show what reconciliation and love for one's neighbour is all about. Be the model that all African nations aspire towards!
MoAfrika Itlhatlhobe – African’s let’s do some serious introspection!-
South Africa emerging from a history of institutionalized racial inequality, has made admirable progress in transforming the state and society to ensure respect for fundamental rights, including freedom of expression, an independent judiciary, and free and fair elections.
Nevertheless, widespread poverty, unemployment, persistently high levels of violent crime, xenophobia and gender inequality continue to inhibit the full enjoyment of human rights.
However, South Africa’s Bill of Rights provides for binding and justiciable rights for all South Africans to education, housing, health care, food, water, and social security. This Bill of Rights is a cornerstone of democracy in South Africa. It enshrines the rights of all people in our country and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.
This means everyone has inherent dignity and the right to have their dignity respected and protected – but does it happen? We have seen many shocking news in the recent times, where people are not afraid to say what they want even though it is violating the rights of others, eg the recent attacks on foreign nationals in Alex, Soshanguve, Mamelodi, Attredgeville, Cape Town and many other areas of South Africa. Residents were saying it bluntly on national television that foreigners must go back to where they came from without any fear or sense of sympathy to the foreigners.
What has this world turned out to be? What has happened to Ubuntu?
How long must our own brothers and sisters suffer this atrocities. Many asylum seekers in South Africa continue to encounter procedural obstacles and administrative delays throughout the refugee status determination process and face arbitrary arrest, detention, mistreatment, and extortion by immigration and police officers. How much long must we allow this to happen?
I have had discussions with some people working for the South Africa’s Department of Home Affairs regarding procedures followed in relation to people seeking asylum.
The Home Affairs officials maintained that most Zimbabweans entering South Africa are economic migrants and cannot be classified as refugees as they are not facing persecution in their own country and like many Human rights groups, I also dispute this notion. Yes! we know the economical situation in Zimbabwe – even though our President claims there is no crisis.
Political freedom and the right of association is not a luxury many Zimbabweans enjoy. Yet! My President has the audacity to report to the world that there is no crisis in the former mighty Zimbabwe. South Africa at some stage was faced with the same situation, where political parties were simply burned and blacks had no economical freedom.
In the quest to inform the President that there is certainly a crisis in Zimbabwe. I urge Mr President to look at the Zimbabwe’s ruling party’s determination to prevent political opponents from operating normally and the constant intimidation of people from engaging in mass action.
Is that not a political issue, let alone a crisis? I guess South Africa and its people have a serious case of amnesia. We seem to have chosen the ignorance path rather deal with realities on the ground.
If you take a look at what is happening on the farms in South Africa you will be shocked, there is a large number of Zimbabwean and Mozambican migrants who continue to seek seasonal work in our farms. Even though South Africa’s employment law affords rights to foreign migrant workers, many farmers openly disregard the minimum wage policy, they do not pay for overtime, and make unlawful deductions from workers’ wages. The government is failing to award necessary documentation to these people, yet they are frequently harassed by police and immigration officials and are subject to assault and extortion during farm raids and now of late they are killed by the locals. How much long must this go on – I am asking?
I think in support of Human Rights groups, we should take it upon ourselves as ordinary South Africa and continue to challenge the patriarchal attitudes that persist in society and to pressure the government to address this attacks on foreign nationals. South Africa continues to play a prominent role in international affairs. It actively supported the establishment of the African Court on Human and Peoples’ Rights, yet we South African’s do the opposite – we abuse and kill our African brothers and sisters.
Why don’t we just embrace them like they did when we had challenges in South Africa. We attained democracy and just thought the legacy of the apartheid policy that encouraged the divide rule will be dead and buried – but it continues to show its ugly and evil head.
My thoughts and prayers are with Zimbabwe ... Zimbabwe is suffering its worst political and economic crisis since independence from the British rule and yet we think that is not a crisis.
MoAfrika Itlhatlhobe – African’s let’s do some serious introspection! This cannot be allowed to go on unchallenged.
As much as this hurts and annoys us/everyone, there is only one thing that I believe our Government can and must do - Crisis plan, new structures then all this will be at ease.
This is something we all saw it coming but choose to ignore it and now its haunting us like a bad dream. When our corrupt officials are letting foreigners in the country they were only doing it to help and to show the Africanism.
If we all can remember what people were saying in the beggining of this, you will see that the message was communicated but ignored - our brothers/sisters are suffering due to our corrupt officials and that results to what we see now - i feel sorry for all the people who are beng killed for nothing and i wish there could be soemthing apart from killing them that they can do for them or to them.
We at the sametime are not looking at the damage this is going to do to our country especially when it comes to our economy, and reputation looking at the biggest event we are busy preparing for, and again this is the only language our Government understand and it seems like if you speak normall language then you wont be heard.
Look at what happen now to our cities when and if our mothers/fathers/brothers/sisters are not happy with their working environment - instead of been listened to they are ignored until they change the language.
Voilence is the only language state must know that its not good then this whole situation will end.
I would like to say that people of South Africa fighting is not because of they are really angry with foreigners but because of the government is satisfying the needs of the foreigners before the South Africans.The government should first satisfy the needs of the South Africans because people in the governmet are not affected by this.The president should be asked how he will sort out this mess that is happening because worst of all,he is not here in South Africa to hear the cry of his people.
The situation of Xenophonic attacks that is currently taking place in SA is so quickly spreading around as an indication of how the SA citizens by birth are FED up with the makwerekwere.
We've tried to put up with them for some time now, we didn't just start to dislike them from the word go. It is because of the wrong things that they've been doing in our country under our nose. The foreigners took us for granted. They felt too comfortable IN OUR COUNTRY starting to tell us how lazy SA are.
I've got extremely bad experience about these people, one kwerekwere bumped into my three weeks old BRAND NEW Polo Classic 1.6 & we negotiated how he is going to cover the COSTS. The next thing I know he is no where to be found; no physical address.
When I went to police station in Vosloorus the kwerekwere police told me that there is nothing they can do since it was our arrangement.
THE KWEREKWERE POLICE WERE PROTECTING THE FELLOW KWEREKWERE & I WAS LEFT IN THE WILD WITH MY BUMPED CAR!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
The kwerekwere should return to were they belong, because definely they don't belong with us - since the're doing things that are far more inhuman!!!
I am amazed at the tone of your comments. Granted you have a right to voice your opinions BUT with that hatred over a car?. Please stop referring to foreigners has KWEREKWERE - we (SA) people who have fought too hard and too long have such names still floating around in our vocab. God forbid that someone on here uses the N word and still have their comments visible without major backlash from thousands.
Someone made a profound point in the news the other day which ties into your comment about being 'FED'. She said that it is funny that SA residents are claiming that foreigners are stealing jobs, when in fact certain jobs are viewed by SA residents as being beneath them. For example foreigners will do any job to survive i.e. fixing shoes. So how are they stealing jobs that South africans arent prepared to do???
Another fact that I found extremely ironic is the fact that ZULU residents are in the frontline of all the violence...they are not even from Gauteng???? Technically they are immigrants to this province too...
You stated: "We've tried to put up with them for some time now, we didn't just start to dislike them from the word go" Have you any idea how these same 'KWEREKWERE' harboured SA people during the apartheid era? Not once did they start killing, raping and burning us - THEY HAD COMPASSION. They could have turned their backs and went on with their lives as usual but they didnt. They took us in even if it meant that they felt the brunt of Apartheid Government then.
Venus, you have shown just how spoilt SA's young generation have become - more concerned with a car than the value of another human being's life...
You make alot of comments about OUR COUNTRY...they helped us get this country. They helped us make it what it is currently so therefore they DO belong here!
I sincerely sympathize with what SA is going through and I am talking from the point of view of a Kenyan having gone through a similar experience recently.
The time has come when we as marketers need to ask ourselves, what is wrong with the business/political model we are promoting? why do so many feel like onlookers in development and empowerment issues, remembering that these are the masses we expect to be the backdrop of our mass marketing activities, and how does this impact on our marketing efforts.
The masses who are perpetuating this violence are sending a message that needs first to be heard and understood before we can move forward from these experiences. One message I hear is that " there is you who have it all and we who have nothing to loose".
The very concept of the millions of dollars it will take to rebuild the faces of Kenya and South Africa is an alien one to the masses I speak of.
I would hesitate to present myself as one who has a comprehensive understanding of what has driven our people to react like this but I would like to suggest that this is indicative of a larger social problem that must be addressed before it grows into a Hydra that we cannot understand leave alone control .
Just to emphasize my point, in Kenya in 1982 during the coup attempt, the sentiments were the same as those in SA but the target was the Asian community. In 2007 the target was indigenous people against each other. In SA 2008 the target is Foreign Africans, what about tomorrow?
Once again, my sympathies are with the great African brand, South Africa and my challenge is to the branding community of Africa.
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