Trucks with South African registration plates have been stoned in Mozambique. A volatile crowd of between 200 – 300 Mozambicans barricaded the N4 about four kilometres east of the Resano Garcia border post, where there is a truck stop,” reported Corridor Gazette.
“It is suspected that this action in related to the Xenophobic attacks which have erupted in various areas of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng this week.”
Trac, a company which is responsible for the 570km of the road between Solomon Mahlangu off-ramp in Tshwane and the Port of Maputo in Mozambique, placed a warning on the protest action on its website.
The recent spate of attacks in South Africa targeting African foreigners has rekindled painful memories of a cyclical problem that has been running for over a decade while putting a spotlight on the immigration policies of one of Africa’s largest economies.
The rainbow nation has been a magnet for African foreigners especially the uneducated and those keen on establishing small businesses. Economic insecurityamong black South Africans has as a result sparked the xenophobic attacks with 2008 being one of the worst years where up to 67 African foreigners lost their lives. And despite numerous plans having been drafted by government to address the problem, it has always remained a ticking time bomb. The attacks have now taken a dangerous twist as politicians openly incite locals. The latest attacks come days to the general elections with politicians using the foreigners’ card for political capital. Only last month ANC presidential candidate and current president Cyril Ramaphosa in a veiled attack at a rally rapped foreigners who set up businesses without permits and licenses and vowed he would put it to an end.
Last year, his health minister blamed the collapsing health sector on foreign nationals who were making it hard for the government to provide services to South Africans.
The official opposition on the other hand has been running its campaign on the promise of securing the country’s borders and blamed the ruling party for flopped immigration policies.
Bongani Mkongi the Deputy Minister of Police two years ago also insisted that up to 80 per cent of foreign Africans had taken over a South African suburb blaming them for economic sabotage and arguing that if the trend was allowed to continue, the country would see a foreign national as president. There has been no end to political class’s careless remarks.
The result is a growing mistrust and hatred towards African nationals which continues to create more anxiety.
According to a 2017 paper by the Institute for Justice and Reconciliation on Social Cohesion, 56 per cent of South African had no trust in Africans living in their country with another 40 per cent insisting they would not allow foreign Africans to start businesses or access services in areas where they lived. 20 per cent also said they would support government’s efforts to remove foreigners regardless of their legal status.
Such incidents have dented the image of South Africa and taken a toll on its economic growth. Government has for long been paying lip service to addressing xenophobic attacks and should solely be held responsible for fuelling this unacceptable practice. At a time when the continent is championing free movement of people and opening up borders to foster integration, South Africa, as a country that boasts of a mature democracy should be at the forefront of advocating for harmony and co-existence and the government must always be reminded of its fiduciary duty to protect the interests and rights of all people, foreign or domestic
The retaliation of xenophobic attacks could be the start of a prolonged war that can even escalate all the way to the East African countries.
The big question is who incites people that have been hosting foreigners for many years and then all of a sudden they don’t want them.
The South African Government is aware of an eminent attack scheduled on April 13 and they should not take this matter lightly.
The African Union should address this issue without delay for if they dont, a full scale war could errupt.
We in Kenyan Parents in USA condemn the acts of even the Mozambique people as they are targeting on innocent people doing their normal business.
The inciters who are in South Africa should be targeted instead of burning peoples properties and the issue addressed once and for all.
Kenyan Parents in USA