In 2008, 14 years post the 1994 democratic dispensation trends of Xenophobia irrupted in South Africa. This occurred at a time when the economy of the country was heading towards its first recession post its democratic rule.
Worse a visible growing gap between the rich and the poor could not be ignored. At the time, the government of the day accentuated that South Africans are not Afro-phobic or Xenophobic. Everything necessary was done to calm the situation. A few years down the line, under the same political party in March 2015 another disturbing Xenophobic havoc erupted informed by utterance of the Zulu king, King Zwelithini.
He said “We are requesting those who come from outside to please go back to their countries,” Zwelithini said. “The fact that there were countries that played a role in the country’s struggle for liberation should not be used as an excuse to create a situation where foreigners are allowed to inconvenience locals. “I know you were in their countries during the struggle for liberation. But the fact of the matter is you did not set up businesses in their countries,” . In response people were killed and South Africans were blamed for refusing to live hand in hand with fellow Africans. There were also calls to say the King was the cause behind the unfortunate situation. An event no leader has agreed to take responsibility for.
Yet again in 2017 there is another uproar and this time it is directed towards a specific foreign national group, the Nigerians. One thing is clear, the Government of the day is failing its people and expecting them to carry principle over the reality of their daily situation. South Africans have lost their patience!
As South Africans continue to celebrate the black middle class which is minor compared to those who remain poor, the working class. While the ruling party continues to remind South Africans that they brought them freedom, the poor, who’s lives have not been changed are tired and their only hope is to take the law into their own hands. This they do with the hope that their living condition will change. A fallacy which is far from reality!
The Minister of Foreign Affairs Malusi Gigaba recently called on South Africans to stop taking the law into their own hands. Called on them to use state institutions to report whatever complain they have. The reality is that our people have lost all hope in public institutions and find comfort in taking the law into their own hands. These are a people who expect plenty from their leaders and are saddened at the state of affairs.
Informed by high level of unemployment, corruption, low wages and non patriotism between citizens it is very easy for the corrupt to undermine systems and use law enforcers to accept bribes. These are bribes used to ensure nepotism, corruption which means silencing against injustice will continue.
Part of stopping the rot in society and addressing concerns of South Africans isto ensure State institutions are restored and respect for the law is upheld. The law must not know color, race, nationality and leadership.
In their nature Africans regardless of nationality are loving people however, where there is no law, drug lords will thrive, law lovers will also thrive taking the law into their own hands. Both are victims of the rotten nature of the state. They represent a sad reality that unless leaders change in their behavior towards the law, the worse can happen. South Africans are not fighting their fellow brothers because they hate them, it is a question of survival of the fittest and with their frustration the nearest and weakest link is a Black Foreign National.