If you sense a tone of anger in this piece, please forgive me because I am angry! I am angry at the way black South Africans have treated fellow black Africans who have immigrated to South Africa since Apartheid was defeated in 1994. I am angry that black South Africans can kill other black Africans as if they were killing their goats. I am angry that they can do this with impunity!
I am angry that South African leaders who enjoyed the hospitality and solidarity of the entire continent during the struggle against Apartheid have done next to nothing to stop this nonsense.
I am angry that the current generation of South Africans considers African lives so cheap. I am angry at the sheer callousness and the lack of feeling that these South Africans have displayed when pumping bullets and hurling stones and rocks at the poor Africans who have become their victims. I am angry, oh Lord I am angry!
They call it xenophobia. I call it Afrophobia. It is a disease eating away the soul of black South Africans. But from where will a saviour come?
It is not xenophobia because, as Julius Malema, the leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), the only South African political leader who has covered himself with grace in this sad episode, says, black South Africans don't do it to the Chinese immigrants among them. Neither do they do it to the white or Indian immigrants. They do it to black Africans alone. Self-hate. What a shame!
Getting away with it
In all this, Gareth Newham, the head of the Justice and Violence Prevention Programme of the Pretoria-based Institute for Security Studies (ISS), speaks for many when he says the Afrophobia "attacks have continued in South Africa partly because South Africans know they can get away with it, as the police rarely act against perpetrators".
That is the crux of the matter. The young men who are pumping bullets into the heads of their African victims in Durban and elsewhere know that nothing will happen to them--and nothing has happened to them since the conflagration in 2008, and even in 2015 when Afrophobia flared up again.
There are decent people in South Africa, in fact the majority of them are decent people. The few bad eggs who have besmirched the good name of the majority are able to do it because the decent people do nothing to stop the nonsense. It is time the majority stood up and said enough is enough. We will no longer allow our good name to be dragged in the mud by mindless people.
The shame of it all...