Between 2000 and March 2008 at least 67 people died in what was identified as xenophobic attacks. In May 2008 a series of riots left 62 people dead - although 21 of those killed were South African citizens some of whom who had been mistaken for foreigners. One dictionary definition of xenophobia is an unreasonable fear, distrust, or hatred of strangers, foreigners, or anything perceived as foreign or different.
Leaders of the country fought for a free South Africa, former president of the country Nelson Mandela said South Africa belongs to everyone who lives in it. During the anti-apartheid struggle, the very same leaders went to exile in neighboring countries most of which the attacked foreigners come from. Most South Africans went to countries like Mozambique, Zimbabwe and Angola to name a few. Clearly most attackers have forgotten about this.
We blame our brothers and sisters from other countries of stealing our jobs, which jobs I ask? Doing our gardens which we can’t do ourselves, repairing our shoes, cleaning our homes or doing our cheap labor? I really fail to understand what the concern is about, some South Africans accuse foreigners of residing in RDP houses and ignore the corruption behind the allocation of these houses done by fellow South Africans in charge. South African officials sell RDP houses which belong to poor people for free; they sell these houses to desperate homeless foreigners and take their hard earned money.
A recent example is South Africans attacking Somalis and looting their shops, for what? Starting their own businesses or showing us how lazy and greedy we are. I’m really disgusted and disturbed at the level of ignorance of South Africans who don’t understand the value of having foreign business in our country and their contribution to the economy. One thing we fail to understand about Somalians and Indians is that they look out for each other; they assist each other in employment. They have family business all over South Africa, this is one of the qualities we don’t have as South Africans, we are greedy, jealous and bitter at each other‘s success.
We should spare a thought for the people of Somalia who didn’t have a government for over 12 years now, they flee the civil war happening in their disgruntled country and come to South Africa for a better life and protection only to find a similar situation here. What happened to the spirit of Ubuntu which we are supposed to show to the people of Zimbabwe who ran away from the hunger and suffering in their country to come to SA for food and protection?
The people who fought for freedom in South Africa must be turning in their graves; we have become a shameless nation with no values and morals. We have one of the worst record of HIV infections, a bad record in crime and now xenophobia.