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Xenophobia Plagues South Africa

Extremely violent attacks on foreigners in South Africa in the last days have stirred the entire South African media and of course… blogs. Individual bloggers question whether the government is right to call these attacks “xenophobic”, and criticize the media for being too event-driven to address the causes behind the violence.

Here's a round up of what some South African bloggers are saying:

Don Edwards, blogging from Johannesburg at Insights and Rants, writes:

Political correctness has now gone too far: it's all very well talking about Xenophobia and anarchy, but why is the government so scared of calling the rioting what it is: racism!?

These people are being killed because they are “foreigners”, and therefore we call it Xenophobia, only because it is politically incorrect to call it racism. Normally Mr Mbeki is quick to use the race card, but I suppose because there are no whites involved he can't see it for what it is. What an idiot! People are suffering and dying while the leadership dithers and keeps silent.
If they do nothing for much longer then we can refer to the process as “ethnic cleansing”, another traditional SA sport.

In The News, a South African-based all-Africa group blog, discusses the effect of these attacks on South Africa's 2010 hopes:

Has anyone given much thought about how the current xenophobia attacks in townships in South Africa could affect South Africa’s preparations for the FIFA World Cup in 2010? The whole world is seeing pictures and videos of the attacks and it can not paint a pretty picture at all. Crime has always been a huge issue about South Africa hosting the world cup but the world was assured that everything possible would be done so that crime does not affect this world event in 2010. Now with the scenes being beamed across the world from townships in Johannesburg, one wonders why South Africa can not stop this current crime sweeping across them.

Fine, the xenophobia attacks are happening in the townships where the poor are so that should not affect 2010 right? Wrong. Any form of crime in South Africa is a negative to how the world portrays South Africa be it crime in the townships or crime in the leafy suburbs. Crime is a national issue in South Africa and just because it is happening in the townships does not mean it should be ignored.

The government has to act and act quickly to find a solution to these xenophobia attacks. There have been calls for there to be more police deployed to stop these attacks but the police say they do not have enough resources to deploy more people than they already have. There have been calls for the South Africa army to step in and help or take over from the police. South Africa is not at war with anyone so the army is available to assist in times like this. The fear is that these attacks could escalate and get out of control. The government has an opportunity to act now and try stop these attacks. Or do they want to wait until it really gets out of hand before they act? This reminds me of the electricity situation. The government had time to act and resolve the crisis long ago, but did nothing about it. Instead they are now fighting against something they could have prevented. Don’t they just learn from past mistakes?

“No human being deserves to be treated like that,” writes Charmed at My Digital Life:

I admit I'm not one to get all worked up about political issues or how incompetent our government is, but I certainly think the xenophobic attacks are uncalled for. No human being deserves to be treated that way.

I agree with OS – it all comes down to those who lack mentality. With that kind of behaviour its no surprise that the Zimbabweans or Mozambicans or whoever are getting employed here.

My sister employs a Zimbabwean girl as her domestic worker and she's so well spoken, friendly, civilized.. unlike some South Africans I've come across with loads of attitude and think the world still owes them since apartheid.

If everyone cared and nobody cried
If everyone loved and nobody lied
If everyone shared and swallowed their pride
We'd see the day when nobody died

Chorus from If Everyone Cared by Nickelback

Herman, a blogger at Contraflow, looks at the larger picture:

The media's reporting of these events has as usual been largely event-driven, with little attempt yet to understand them as part of larger socio-economic circumstances and policies (although there has been some good analyses, for instance here and here). While front pages such as the one posted here (the Cape Town-based newspaper Cape Times, owned by the Independent group) raise familiar questions regarding the ethics of the representation of violent acts, there is also an imperative for the media to analyse these events holistically, as part of the precarious living conditions of the poor in the country and political response they demand. Journalism should be at its best when it defends human dignity and respect for life. This is such a time.

Sokari sees the violence as an indication of South Africa's fragility

The media and the government are naming the violence as xenophobia but the reality is that people have reached boiling point after 14 years of dashed hopes and have now turned on the most vulnerable in their communities, refugees, and foreigners to vent their frustration. This in no way justifies the violence but does go some way to explain the fragility of the country.

Nicole does not believe the atrocities committed by her fellow citizens who should be ubuntu experts:

Over the past few weeks, xenophobic attacks on Zimbabweans, Malawians, Zambians, Ugandans, Rwandans, Burundians, Mozambicans, and many other African illegal (and legal!) migrants who are living near Johannesburg on the East Rand, have been on the increase.

It blows me away that my fellow countrymen and women can with one breath decry the atrocities in Zimbabwe, and with the next perpetrate their own. It blows me away that people who should be experts at ubuntu can demonstrate anything but. It blows me away that a problem I considered to be purely a first-world problem exists on my own doorstep (as it were…. Jo'burg is a good 1400kms or 870 miles). It blows me away that in this rainbow nation of ours, where thousands have fought, shed blood and died for the right for us to treat each other with the respect due another human being, for the right to express our equality, my fellow countrymen and women would perpetrate such hate crimes.

And an angry post from ZimStallion

Alright, jokes aside. This is something that REALLY pisses me off.

Xenophobia, for those that have lived under a rock their entire life, is the jealous hatred of foreigners living in one's country…

Q: Why have so many Zimbabweans desperately flooded into South Africa?
A: Because there is a shithead President in Zimbabwe who beats the living daylights out of them for no good reason.

Q: Why is there a shithead President in Zimbabwe?
A: Because there is also a shithead President in South Africa, who stops the rest of the world from putting a bullet through his head.

Q: Why do shithead South African citizens take it out on poor innocent Zimbabwean refugees?
A: Because shithead South Africans are lazy, and are used to having things handed to them on a plate, whereas a Zimbabwean will actually work for something. This is the reason a Zimbabwean is chosen for a job over Joe South African.

Christ, South Africa, I'll explain this as simply as possible so that you get it into your thick skulls: Get your shithead President to stop shielding the shithead Zimbabwean President, and we will ALL fuck off back home in a split-second. Then you can have your shitty jobs and shitty country back. Because if we had a choice, we wouldn't be here.

From Jacaranda FM blog:

Foreign nationals in Alexandra, North of Jo’burg, are begging police to deport them back to their home countries following the recent outbreak of Xenophobia. According to Alexandra police, about a thousand refugees are being housed in tents at the police station whilst several organizations have donated blankets, food and other necessities.

And finally… Dispatch Now

DispatchOnline has set up a dedicated blog for readers to share their experiences of xenophobia, racism and other forms of intolerance. Share your views and stories at http://blogs.dispatch.co.za/surviving

Across all media and social media channels, the xenophobic attacks have been condemned, unfortunately the government seems to be dragging it's feet again and mumbling about semantics instead of doing something concrete about the situation.

46 comments

  • Cindy

    For the past one week, i have been watching the chilling pictures of what the ignorant South Africans have been doing to their fellow African brothers…this is a disgrace. I though SA was supposed to set an example to the rest of the continent…I thought I had seen it all from this continent, but the South Africans just opened a new chapter on the horrors that this continent creates…human life is the most valuable thing ont this earth…yet these fellows set a person on fire and standby to watch while laughing as he burns to death. SHAME ON YOU! from what I know, these foreighners are the ones who have been building your economy while you laze away…as someone said, stop acting like the world owes you…how can you turn on your fellow african brothers…how can you turn on tham in such a cruel manner…who in their right mind would employ people who are so baberic and unfeeling…just remember, not much in this world goes unpunished…this is goung to haunt you guys for a long time..the governemt better act faster…coz if not, the world will turn on SA, then we will see who will provide tose jobs you want so bad…And the hosting of the world cup should definitely be reconsiderd…I can only imagine the hooliganism if their national team is bundled out of the competiotion by another country…will those guys be safe? such a shame…such a disappointment….

  • Omo Oba

    Xenophobia cuts across every segment of the South African society and is quite rampant in government circles. The current wave of violence did not just develop overnight. The environment for this was created by the South African government over the past 14 years. There is the feeling among black South Africans that they have fought hard and won their victory and other Africans are not welcome in their country. Never mind the contributions of several African states to the cause of ending apartheid. Europeans and whites from other parts of the world are still more welcome in South Africa than other Africans. Largely, they are seen by black South Africans as being better than other Africans irrespective of the status of the other Africans. I lived and worked in South Africa in the mid 90’s as a medical doctor. The treatment meted out then to foreign doctors in a country that claims it is lacking such professionals is mind boggling. It was an attempt at enslaving foreign doctors. This is still going on under the umbrella of the more recently created Foreign Medical Workers’ Program in the Dept. Of Health. The Program is managed by incompetent and corrupt officials who see foreign doctors trying to register to practice in South Africa as easy prey. They demand bribes and still refuse to issue the appropriate authorizations to support registration of such doctors after receiving such bribes. Doctors typically do not complain publicly because they just want to move ahead in their lives. The current violence being witnessed is a trickle down effect of the atrocities of highly placed officials to the lower levels of society. The response of the government, which has been very slow, is indicative of complicity at its highest levels. Please, read the piece below from 1998.

    “PROHIBITED PERSONS”

    Abuse of Undocumented Migrants, Asylum-Seekers, and Refugees
    in South Africa

    Human Rights Watch
    350 Fifth Ave, 34th Fl.
    New York, NY 10118-3299
    Tel: (212) 290-4700
    Fax: (212) 736-1300
    E-mail: hrwnyc@hrw.org
    Web: http://www.hrw.org

    CONTENTS

    * I. SUMMARY

    * II. RECOMMENDATIONS
    o Recommendations to the Government of South Africa
    o Recommendations to the State Institutions Supporting Constitutional Democracy
    o Recommendations to the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR)
    o Recommendations to the Southern African Development Community (SADC)

    * III. INTRODUCTION
    o Migration to South Africa Today
    o Brief History of Migration to South Africa
    + Labor Migration to South Africa
    + The Destabilization of the Frontline States by the Apartheid Regime
    + The Repatriation of Mozambican Refugees
    + The SADC Amnesty

    * IV. THE TREATMENT OF UNDOCUMENTED MIGRANTS IN SOUTH AFRICA
    o Labor Exploitation
    o Abuses During the Arrest Process o Conditions of Detention
    o Unlawful Long-term Detention of Undocumented Migrants
    o The Deportation Process: The Train to Mozambique

    * V. THE TREATMENT OF REFUGEES AND ASYLUM-SEEKERS IN SOUTH AFRICA
    o Asylum-Seekers in Detention
    o Corruption in the Asylum Process
    o Arbitrary, Uninformed Decisions
    o Rubber-Stamp Appeals Process
    o Police Abuse of Refugees and Asylum-Seekers

    * VI. XENOPHOBIA AND ATTACKS AGAINST MIGRANTS
    o Xenophobic Statements by Officials
    o Attacks Against Foreign Hawkers
    o The Alexandra Riots against Foreigners

    * VII. THE STALLED POLICY DEBATE

    * Acknowledgments
    * Appendix A: South Africa’s Obligations under International and Domestic Law
    * Appendix B: Organization of African Unity Convention Governing the Specific Aspects of Refugee Problems in Africa
    * Appendix C: Declaration on the Human Rights of Individuals Who Are Not Nationals of the Country in Which They Live
    * Appendix D: International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families

    I. SUMMARY

    Although South Africa, since the first democratic elections in 1994, has made remarkable progress towards establishing a free and democratic society based on respect for the human rights of its own citizens, foreigners have largely failed to benefit from these developments and remain subject to serious abuse. Anti-foreigner feelings have also increased alarmingly. Politicians, the press, and the South African public commonly blame foreigners for exacerbating social problems such as rising crime, unemployment, or even the spread of diseases, and undocumented migrants have been subject to abuse by officials from the Department of Home Affairs, the police, and the army, as well as by the general public. In general, public attention has been focused on the allegedly socio-economic impact of migrants within South Africa, despite the absence of evidence to confirm these. In the process, attention has been diverted from the suffering and exploitation experienced by aliens as a result of official policies and xenophobic attitudes. This report seeks to document the experiences of foreigners in South Africa, including undocumented migrants, legal residents, asylum-seekers, and refugees, in order to add their voices to the debate on migration in South Africa. Human suffering should not be ignored in a country that only recently emerged from a system that degraded basic human rights and human dignity.(1)

    [(1) 1. In this report, we use the term “undocumented migrants” to refer to all persons who entered South Africa without passing through formal border control procedures. The South African authorities normally refer to such people as “illegal aliens,” a term Human Rights Watch considers objectionable because of the way it dehumanizes those with irregular immigration status.]

    Human Rights Watch conducted an investigation of the treatment of undocumented migrants, asylum-seekers, and refugees in South Africa in 1996 and 1997. During the course of our missions, we visited several areas of the country, including Johannesburg and Pretoria, the Northern Province and Mpumalanga border regions with Mozambique, and Cape Town. We interviewed foreign farm workers, migrants in detention, asylum-seekers, refugees, hawkers, repatriated Mozambicans, and representatives of nongovernmental organizations (NGOs), as well as officials from the Department of Home Affairs, the South African Police Service, the Department of Correctional Services, the South African National Defence Force, and the Mozambican Department of Labor. We visited a number of detention facilities, including the private Lindela detention facility in Krugersdorp; Pollsmoor, Pretoria Central, Johannesburg Central (Diepkloof), and Modderbee prisons; and a number of police stations. Our findings indicate pervasive and widespread abuse of migrants in South Africa.

    Abuses Against Undocumented Migrants in South Africa

    The South African economy, especially its farming, mining, security, and construction sectors, relies heavily on the cheap and easily exploitable labor of undocumented migrants, mostly from Mozambique, Lesotho, Zimbabwe, and Swaziland. Undocumented laborers on farms work for a pittance, on average about 5 rands [U.S. $1 at an exchange rate of five rands for one U.S. dollar] per day. Because of the illegal immigration status of their workers, farmers can exercise tremendous power over them. Human Rights Watch interviewed a number of child laborers, some as young as fourteen, and our research indicates that physical abuse of farm workers is common. Police rarely investigate or prosecute farmers for abuses, and in some instances contribute to the exploitation of farm workers by deporting them without pay on the request of farmers who have employed them. In one instance, Human Rights Watch interviewed three young farm laborers who described how they had been kept on a white-owned farm against their will, without any accommodation, and were regularly beaten to make them work harder. After two weeks, they were finally paid at the rate of 5 rand [U.S. $1] per day, only to have their money stolen by the foreman who then called the police to have the young laborers deported.

    South Africa has been deporting an increasing number of migrants each year since 1994, and reaching close to 200,000 people in 1997. Suspected undocumented migrants are identified by the authorities through unreliable means such as complexion, accent, or inoculation marks. We documented cases of persons who claimed they were arrested for being “too black,” having a foreign name, or in one case, walking “like a Mozambican.” Many of those arrested–up to twenty percent of the total in some areas by our calculation–are actually South African citizens or lawful residents, who often have to spend several days in detention while attempting to convince officials of their legitimate status.

    Assault and theft by officials during the arrest process seems disturbingly common. We interviewed several persons who claimed to have been beaten and robbed of valuables by members of the army or police and obtained evidence of several other such cases. In some urban areas, especially Johannesburg, police often suggested a “fine” or a bribe as an alternative to arrest and deportation. One person told Human Rights Watch how the police had volunteered to drive him to a bank automated teller machine (ATM) to withdraw the money for a bribe, while two others told us how they were forced to pay for a beer drinking party and to give the arresting officers additional “beer money” before being released.

    After arrest, suspected undocumented migrants are brought to a place of detention where they often wait for long periods before being deported. Human Rights Watch interviewed some people who had been unlawfully in detention for more than four months and documented a case in which a suspected undocumented migrant had been detained for more than a year. Migrants awaiting deportation are held at a private detention facility called Lindela, as well as at prisons, police stations, and army bases. Conditions of detention are usually far below internationally accepted minimum standards. Places of detention are often severely overcrowded, meals are insufficient, bedding was dirty and vermin-ridden, and detainees did not always have regular access to washing facilities. At Pollsmoor prison, migrants in detention often share cells with criminal suspects and are frequently robbed of their possessions and clothes by these criminal suspects.

    At the private Lindela facility near Johannesburg, operated on behalf of the Department of Home Affairs by the Dyambu Trust, Human Rights Watch found numerous serious human rights abuses. Most troubling, we interviewed and photographed more than ten people who claimed to have been beaten by security personnel in three separate incidents in the week prior to our visit, and we obtained medical reports documenting their injuries. A young man from Lesotho had been brutally beaten over a period of several hours after complaining to security guards about the theft of his music tapes by security personnel. Although the Lindela management was aware of some of these incidents, no internal investigation appeared to have been instituted prior to our request for an investigation. The number of beds at Lindela was significantly lower than the average number of persons detained at the facility. Detainees also described many instances of corruption involving officials of the Department of Home Affairs at the facility and complained to Human Rights Watch about the quality of the food, the lack of phone access, and rude and violent behavior by the guards.

    Repatriation to their home country is the final chapter in the journey of most arrested undocumented migrants. In some areas, deportees were not allowed to gather their often substantial belongings before being deported, thus virtually guaranteeing that they would return again to South Africa. Several people told Human Rights Watch about their experiences on the twelve-hour train ride to Mozambique, where they were verbally and physically abused by police guards, and where a substantial bribe often provided a final opportunity to escape deportation by being allowed to jump from the moving train.

    Abuses Against Asylum-Seekers and Refugees

    South Africa only began to abide formally by international refugee law after signing a Basic Agreement with United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) in 1993. South Africa became a party to the Organization of African Unity (OAU) and United Nations (U.N.) refugee conventions in 1995 and 1996, respectively. The treatment of refugees and asylum-seekers in South Africa does not fully comply with international refugee law. There is no legislation implementing the South African government’s obligations under these documents, so all refugee-handling procedures are governed by internal regulations of the Department of Home Affairs, leaving ample room for confusion and abuse of process. Human Rights Watch interviewed several asylum-seekers who had been in detention for up to three weeks at police stations, waiting for officials from the Department of Home Affairs to interview them. We discovered extensive corruption in the refugee determination process, with Home Affairs officials demanding bribes for the scheduling of interviews and for the granting of permits.

    In addition to the impact of pervasive bribery and extortion, the refugee determination process is flawed in several respects. First, officials often make arbitrary, uninformed decisions that are inconsistent with the requirements of the U.N. and OAU conventions and guidelines for their implementation. Asylum-seekers from a number of African countries, including Angola, Mozambique, Tanzania, and Malawi, appear to have their asylum applications turned down as a matter of course. Refugee applications are determined by a panel which does not itself hear the applicants. Until recently, applicants denied asylum were not furnished with reasons for the denial, a practice which has now been rectified. Denied asylum-seekers can only appeal to a one-person appeal board which appears not to provide a genuine review of the case.

    Xenophobia and Abuse of Foreigners

    In general, South Africa’s public culture has become increasingly xenophobic, and politicians often make unsubstantiated and inflammatory statements that the “deluge” of migrants is responsible for the current crime wave, rising unemployment, or even the spread of diseases. As the unfounded perception that migrants are responsible for a variety of social ills grows, migrants have increasingly become the target of abuse at the hands of South African citizens, as well as members of the police, the army, and the Department of Home Affairs. Refugees and asylum-seekers with distinctive features from far-away countries are especially targeted for abuse.

    Human Rights Watch interviewed a number of refugees and asylum-seekers who claimed to have been assaulted by police. In one case, a Ugandan refugee told us how she had been arrested and violently thrown into a police van, then subjected to vile language and rough handling as she was transferred from one police station in Cape Town to the other. A Nigerian refugee hawker in Cape Town showed us his wounds from a recent scuffle with the police, in which he was manhandled and verbally abused for insisting that a police officer who had asked him for his papers identify himself first.

    At least one asylum-seeker, Jean-Pierre Kanyangwa of Burundi, has died after apparently being beaten in police custody. Kanyangwa was arrested by police in Cape Town at about 11 a.m. on June 2, 1997, and was brought to the Department of Home Affairs at about 2 p.m. the same day in a bad condition. He was suffering from stomach pains, had urinated in his pants, and reportedly told a fellow Burundian that he had been beaten by the police. The police sergeant who brought Kanyangwa to the offices of the Department of Home Affairs refused to take him to the hospital, saying it was now a refugee problem, and left. Kanyangwa died from a ruptured spleen on his way to the hospital. A murder docket into the case has been opened.

    Foreign hawkers, often asylum applicants with temporary residence permits, have repeatedly been the targets of violent protests and other forms of intimidation as local hawkers attempt to “clean the street of foreigners.” During repeated violent protests in Johannesburg, South African traders and ordinary criminals have brutally beaten foreign hawkers, and stolen their goods. Hawkers interviewed by Human Rights Watch who were the targets of such abuse universally complained to us that the police had done little or nothing in response to their complaints. In many areas around Johannesburg, such as Kempton Park and Germiston, foreign hawkers have had to abandon their trade after repeated attacks and looting incidents in which the police failed in their duty under both international and domestic law to protect all persons. Human Rights Watch interviewed members of a large community of Somali asylum-seekers who had been forced to abandon their trade and who told Human Rights Watch that they now never left their overcrowded and impoverished compound unless they were in a large group, in order to protect themselves from attacks by hostile “locals.”

    A xenophobic climate in South Africa has resulted in increased harassment of migrants. Many people interviewed by Human Rights Watch described how they had been verbally abused by South Africans, and told to “go home.” In some cases, verbal abuse led to physical attacks. In the township of Alexandra near Johannesburg, for example, Malawian, Zimbabwean and Mozambican immigrants were physically assaulted over a period of several weeks in January 1995, as armed gangs identified suspected undocumented migrants and marched them to the police station in an attempt to “clean” the township of foreigners. Similar but less extensive incidents continue to occur regularly in South Africa, and foreigners have received little protection from the police and other institutions.

    The Stalled Policy Debate

    The Aliens Control Act which currently governs all aspects of migrants control in South Africa is an archaic piece of apartheid legislation, at odds with internationally accepted human rights norms and the South African constitution. South Africa still remains without legislation specifically covering refugee determination procedures. In order to remedy these deficiencies, the government appointed a task group to draft a “Green Paper” policy document as a first step in drafting new legislation.

    Many of the recommendations contained in the ensuing Green Paper on International Migration, finalized in May 1997, would help remedy the institutional and legislative deficiencies which are partly responsible for the human rights abuses discussed in this report. However, it appears that the reform process has stalled, and with the 1999 general elections appearing on the political horizon in South Africa, the window for migration and refugee legislative reform is rapidly closing. Without legislative reform, it will be difficult to address the problems and abuses existing under the current system, as many of these problems and abuses stem from fundamental deficiencies in the current legislation. In the meantime, without reform, Human Rights Watch fears that foreigners in South Africa will continue to suffer major and systematic human rights abuses.

  • Cathy

    Perhaps the rest of the world will at last begin to realise that the violence during the ANC’s “liberation struggle” was also mostly black on black violence. Back then the ANC targeted ordinary black people who refused to take part in their destabilization of South Africa. These people were labeled “sell-outs” and “collaborators” and were killed in the much same way as the foreigners who are currently dying.

    Many still remember Winnie Mandela’s words when she shouted with clenched fist in the air: “With our necklaces and out matches we’ll liberate this land!”

    There were ongoing fights then between the mainly Xhosa ANC and the Zulu IFP.

    Now the attention has shifted to foreigners, but it is still the same marauding mobs that roam the streets.

  • Shedy Kay

    I think the South African government is once again displaying its denialism tendencies, which has become commonplace with the ANC especially when they are faced with a problem. I am shocked that the government does not realise the impact that these barbaric, animalistic and inhumane acts of a faction of the South African people has caused. I am disappointed in Mbeki, but it seems it has become his hobby to let his fellow African and South African brethren down.

  • David

    South Africans have lots of great people.I mean people with lots of love, courage, brain, and so forth.Like Mandela and Tutu.Unfortunately they are not many.They are few in comparison with the ocean of thick skulled, indolent, and tsotsi majority.

    They have lots of angelic girls may God bless them.But they are being snatched by refugees.We go for the best,truly the men have reason to rebel.If she is brainy and beautiful- she is gone.She has a better deal from a competent refugee who knows how to love.The men do not know how to treat a woman.No respect.No fidelity.They are hopeless.There is coming an army, a pool of mixed race generation who is inheriting South Africa….possibly lots of future leaders of the whole subsaharan africa.Thumbs up for those who dare to cross the tribe, the border and race line!
    Only common humanity!

    The xenophobic attacks on africans is nothing but an incontrovertible prove of the bottomless stupidity of the natives- esp. Zulus- a live walking stupidity.I weep for them.They do not know an ally.You see the mob and weakness stare you in the face.A gang of emaciated, drunk, pygimy people.It is revolting.These can not be a threat to white south africans….most posibly their next target…machete, axe in the days of smart bomb? May God have mercy and inject a swarm of brain cells on those brainwise challenged people.

  • Mujajati

    It is sad that 42 people have died in this madness. For some of us Zimbabweans we remember well the 80s when SA politicians were hiding in our cpountry and we also remenber the raids by the then SA regime. These raids killed our citizens.

    It is important to look ahead, in this regard, I hope the situation in Zimbabwe will improve. This of course calls for Mbeki to acknowledge that the houses are on fire both in Zimbabwe and SA.

    Looking ahead, South Africans should be realistic,they need skills like every other country including Zimbabwe. Honsetly speaking, SA on its own, with its own engineers can not be ready for the 2010 World Cup.As an African, I want to avoid the syndrome of spite your nose, but I sincerely see SA not fit to host the football showcase. Call me anything but I am a realistic person. Being realistic is important, SA has ceased to be a destination of choice to educated professionals. Today professionals are moved the concept of geocities not nationalitiy.

    As an engineer, I want to steer away from politics as much as I can, however, my view is that when Tsvangirai gets into power in June, we should revise our diplomatic relations with SA for the time Mbeki is in power and wait when good man Zuma comes to power.

    Mbeki and Mugabe are a disgrace and Mbeki has done nothing for South Africans and to Southern Africa. Zuma is the Mandela we are crying for in Southern Africa.

    Nkosi Sikelela Africa.

  • Glenn Erbe

    My recent visit to Benoni was very eye opening. Why hasn’t the United States helped stop the killings and violence against the whites in South Africa.

  • dugmax

    This ANC government supports xenophobia…remember when even SA citizens were told to go back to Europe if they didnt like the crime situation in the country….

  • dugmax

    and talking about the embarrassment of the 2010 world cup….. hasn’t anybody else noticed the multi billion rand neclace monument being built in Soweto……

  • Mark

    some people’s comments dont make sense(‘they sound rather uneducated or not fully informed about the whole saga) I would like it if one of the cabinet ministers would take at least 10 of these foreigners into their houses I’m pretty sure they won’t manage even a week. The SA goverment can’t manage our population(i.e SA citizens excl foreigners) so why should is the gov. bringing in more assets.

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