First and foremost I condemn the killing of human beings, committing of other heinous crimes and deplore such barbaric acts in South Africa. However I have decided to take a breath and reflect on what could be the other problem that has led to xenophobia in South Africa. A brother turning against a brother though we have seen genocides and murdering of innocent civilians for holding a different view on socio- economic and political issues and civil wars that have left trails of destruction and a number of families broken in some African countries and my country included. My conviction is that human beings are not born with hate or anger. I am of the conviction that society teaches us to hate or love, our experiences also influence our behaviors and attitudes.
The xenophobic attacks are an indicator of tragedy failure of those entrusted with the mandate to lead the continent from its many abyss. The continent has failed to make an effort to create many centers of economic power like other continents have done. A glance in Asia shows that Asians do not flock all of them to Hongkong, they have other Asian tigers; Taiwan, Singapore, South Korea. In Europe, people do not flock enmasse to London in UK, they have Germany, France, Italy and others. In America people do not flock to enmasse to USA some go to Canada, Brazil, Argentina and others but when you look in Africa its South Africa, Johannesburg to be precise. Now Africa and perhaps the world have turned the African problem into a South African problem but no all Africans are in complicit. We must own up as Africans.
Look at Zimbabwe had she not destroyed what she inherited from the Smith regime people could be flocking to the country to look for opportunities. Statistics are available to support the number of people who came to Zimbabwe to look for opportunities soon after independence when the economy was at its rapid growth. The pressure could have been reduced in South Africa. If other regions had embraced democracy though foreign as people argue; a semblance of stability was going to be realized. If countries like Libya had embraced political freedoms perhaps we could be far as a continent. If we had not involved ourselves into wars and killings each other through genocides in Rwanda, Zimbabwe and dealt with avoidable civil wars perhaps we could be far. Today it seems there is sudden shift and people are preaching brotherhood after so many years of merciless of killing each other. Are people suddenly becoming real. Is this the real radical transformation that will value human life forever? It is now Africa renaissance or its just pretense, have people now learnt that human rights are universal regardless of race, creed, sex and tribe. I hope it is not our usual hypocrisy that when we err and others make an effort to correct us we hide behind the neo-colonization mantra and argue African solutions to African problems.
Michael Mdladla Ndiweni aka Rebel 33