Of all the places in the world, I don’t know how South Africa has become a country rife with violent xenophobia. During its fight against apartheid, South Africans were welcomed and helped by its neighbors, especially in Zimbabwe, Mozambique and Zambia, where the political and military wing of the ANC largely operated from. Now to see immigrants running away from Zimbabwe being slaughtered by South Africans is nothing sort of disgrace and stain on all South Africans including the gutless government of Thabo Mbeki.
I don’t care the fact that the violence directed at fellow African migrants is by a tiny group of South Africans, it nonetheless highlights the unwillingness of the larger population to stand up and defend their values by being silent for so damn long. It is interesting that at the beginning of South Africa’s violent xenophobia was initially directed at mainly Somali shops in 2006 in which between 10 to 20 Somali shop owners were murdered. Now that the xenophobia has spread to all African migrants, everyone is paying attention. All South Africans are to be blamed and should be ashamed for letting thugs and mob mentality hijack their country; I have yet to see a single, strong demonstration against this xenophobia and violence against migrants.
If any people know oppression and injustice, it is South Africans; and if South Africans cannot stand up to mobs and defend migrants, they have surely failed as a people and as the country of justice and equality.