Xenophobia: South Africa turns violent due to socio-economic problems
“When is much is much, out foreigners” this was the message sent by the group manifesting against migrants in South Africa. Bheki Cele, the minister of the Police declared 5 death over 300 arrests in Johannesburg and Pretoria where the manifestation took over from Sunday, September 1st. The protesters targeted shops owned by migrants and taxi drivers. This manifestation called the attention to the world but especially other African countries, who are the main target. Nigeria provided a free flight Friday 6th September from SA to Nigerian for his citizens living in South Africa who feel insecure. However, experts call it a socio-economic issue going beyond the limit because the economy is drowning and poverty increasing even though South Africa comes a second powerful country financially after Nigeria in Africa.
How is the situation now?
The wave of xenophobic tendencies is not new in South Africa. It was so significant in 2008 where more than 60 people lost their lives. The victims this time are drivers of Taxis and tracks, from Congo, Zimbabwe and Zambia and other African countries. On Wednesday, the police and army tried to maintain Johannesburg safe and slowly life seems to be back to the normal. The President Cyril Ramaphosa condemned the act on a video he posted on tweeter saying, “This is something unacceptable, something we cannot allow to happen in South Africa.” The new government of Cyril Ramaphosa was hope for many and is expected to create works for people because one of the main reasons Jakob Zuma was forced to resign last year, was lack of work. Nevertheless, the consequences of this violence are being seen in different countries. South Africa closed 2 embassies in Nigeria in fear of attacks, in RDC protesters burnt SA flag and trash the consulate and the friendly soccer match between Zambia and Bafana Bafana, which was going to take place on Saturday, has also been canceled.
Should it be called xenophobia?
Antonella Sinopoli director of the Global voices on her interview with Vatican News underlined made it clear that the acts aren’t related to racism and xenophobia rather than the high rate of jobless, especially in the black communities where only 10% of the black families benefit from the medical insurance. “The protagonists of these manifestations are youth coming from slams, filled with the ideas that foreigners are taking their jobs. A false idea that was proved by the census done in 2011, which shows that the number of foreigners in South Africa is only 2 million over 52 million South Africans. Therefore, migrants represent a very small number considering the South African population.” She said.
How other people from african countries received the news?
Many Africans across the world manifested their concern through social media by posting pictures and posts that call for solidarity and unity between all African countries.” We are One”,” AFRICA UNITE, SAY NO TO XENOPHOBIA” these were images posted by many Africans across the continent. John Dramani Mahama a historian writer and Ex-President of Ghana, expressed his worries” It is most regrettable and most unfortunate. I think the young people of South Africa do not know what happened before they gained their freedom, the whole of Africa stood for South Africa to fight against apartheid”. He said