Already In April 2015, Mayibuye published an article which raised deep concerns about the appalling acts of violence and deaths which had been perpetrated by South Africans on – largely – African foreign nationals who were living in South Africa. We rigorously expressed our total rejection of the hostile and inhumane behaviour of the perpetrators and appealed to Government and the people at large to condemn and halt such incongruencies in the South African society.
Seven years later and the situation has not changed. As a matter of fact, it has deteriorated into a dangerous saga of death and destruction. No matter what, this circumstance is totally unacceptable and should not and cannot be tolerated. The fact that the country is heavily burdened by – for instance – rising unemployment (especially among the young), poverty and inequality is NOT the fault of foreign nationals. These are political and economic issues that need paramount attention from Government and civil society (institutions particularly) to eradicate these devastating shortcomings which the country is facing.
South Africa cannot solve the xenophobic and migrant question alone. It needs to work closely with neighbouring African states in finding positive and lasting solutions. Whether this is taking place, is unsure – at least to the outside world. As a matter of fact – as it stands – it does NOT appear to be high priority stuff, although it SHOULD BE. At the same time, Government must take decisive measures to structurally curb individuals and organisations from encouraging and executing hate and intolerance.
It is important that the South African government, including all political parties, nestle down and find ways and means of tackling this urgent problem in order to find a common solution that will satisfy each and everyone. After all, South Africa’s reputation and legacy as a democracy is at stake. That is one of the reasons why the matter should be addressed promptly. The ANC government should not forget the sacrifices and risks African states took to support and house the liberation movements during the anti-apartheid struggle. We should therefore do everything in our power to stay true to our constitution and fight for and maintain justice, humanity and peace for each and everyone. That is and must remain our first priority!
Mayibuye Südafrika Community e.V. Berlin, April 2022