African bloggers speak out on Zim xenophobia in SA

Life in Jo'burg has been chaotic in recent days because of a sudden outbreak of xenophobic violence against Zimbabwean refugees.

From the Associated Press:

Angry residents accused foreigners — many of them Zimbabweans who had fled their own country's economic collapse — of taking scarce jobs and housing.

President Thabo Mbeki said Sunday that he would set up a panel of experts to investigate. African National Congress President Jacob Zuma, who is likely to succeed Mbeki next year, condemned the attacks.

The African blogosphere has been buzzing about the riots and the plight of Zim refugees. Many compare the riots to the recent election violence in Kenya, as one Kenyan blogger does.

...It is therefore with much shock and disbelief that I watched unfolding events on the news last night about the recent wave of xenophobic attacks in Johannesburg and neighbouring towns within the province of Gauteng. The hate crimes, similar to what we experienced in Kenya not long ago is reportedly spreading like bushfire and as at the moment, slightly less than 100 foreigners have been killed, hundreds more injured in the fracas and many more displaced. What triggered the attacks is alleged wealth and business success of foreign nationals, which is all a product of hard work and determination by the way...

Then there are others who worry about how it will affect the 2010 World Cup.

...I wonder how many foreigners around the world, looking at this display of violence, are looking forward to travelling to South Africa to watch world cup football there?



At Wednesday, May 21, 2008 4:37:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I am a South African living in Europe.

My mother is Angolan and also fled her own country to the "grass is greener" South Africa. She lived in refugee camps and had nothing, just like everyone else now fleeing a miserable existence and looking for something better in SA

My Step-father is Mozambican - also fled home.

This makes them "foreigners". But it makes them "Extra-Special" foreigners because they are also "European".

I, being the only one in the family that was BORN in SA (my sister is also a "European Angolan South African!"), am then the only "non-foreigner"!

My question is, would a mob attacking foreigners stop and analyse the "foreigners" - kill my family and leave me be?

Or am I also a foreigner because my ancestors from some time long-gone were from Europe?

My opinion is that people blog about this, even South Africans in Europe blog about this because regardless of what has happened in the past, violence is unnacceptable and will not be tolerated!.

If Mandela taught us anything, if he taught these mobbers anything, it is that one must love, move forward and be tolerant! This is NOT what I think he envisioned for our people!

At Wednesday, May 21, 2008 5:02:00 AM, Anonymous bOMSEH said...

The attacks are unfair in all aspects. I have always believed that Africa is for Africans, and we have co-habited well for years. South Africans were refugees in many different African countries during the Apartheid period and none was forced out. They should to do others all the good that was done unto them, not what they are doing now.


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