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John

Attacks Against Foreigners In SA

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Over the past couple of weeks, I've been seeing headlines in SA about "xenophobia". I didn't read any of those articles because I figured it was just a case of people becoming annoyed with the influx of refugees from neighboring countries. Now it looks like this xenophobia has taken an ugly turn with several violent attacks on these refugees today and over the weekend, as this article explains.

 

Every time we go back to visit in SA, one of the topics of conversation is usually the large daily influx of especially Zimbabweans and the trouble that many of them cause. I suspect that most these foreigners arrive in SA with no support systems in place. These people need to eat. This means that they take jobs away from South Africans in an already tight job market, or if they can't find work, I can see how crime becomes a viable alternative to them.

 

This has been a ticking time-bomb for quite a while. I wonder if the SA govt saw this coming and if they attempted to do something earlier on to try to prevent this situation from exploding.

 

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Added later:

 

Here are a few additional articles giving added perspectives on this issue...

 

We want jobs, but not work

Cry the belligerent country

Foreigners are the scapegoats

 

Maybe this issue is just one symptom of a greater problem in SA?

Edited by John

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John, I agree with you. The first article is especially relevant: I saw that attitude time and time again when I still lived in S.A. I was born in Zambia and my parents always talked about how much more honourable and hard-working the native people there were, than in South Africa. I reckon this is a problem that is only now beginning ... who knows where it will end? :(

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I have witnessed first hand the huge number of people crossing the border daily....This has been a disaster waiting to happen for a long time, it is un-avoidable in my opinion. There are millions of these illegal immigrants in SA, and Mbeki has welcomed them all along, preventing anyone from prosecuting or basicly deporting them. They form their own townships once settled in and harass the locals tremendously due to numbers. It can only do SA good to get rid of a few million.....

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I read somewhere about a woman in one of these townships saying that the trouble started in their township when a group of these foreigners walked down the street taunting (South African) residents. It sounded like they (the locals) just had enough of it and decided to do something about it. Whether attacking and killing them is the right way to go, I'm not so sure about, but one thing's for sure, they certainly made Mbeki aware of the foreigner-problem that he seems to have ignored so far.

 

Will Mbeki now actually do something about it? Who knows? I often get the feeling that the people in govt are so busy scooping up power and money for themselves and their friends that there isn't much time left to take care of the issues affecting ordinary citizens, like this mess, crime, basic services, etc.

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do you think these attacks will start happening to tourists and not just to the immigrants?

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A local was surprised and said that the people should be welcomed with open arms. They are after all fellow sufferes, having endured colonial rule etc, etc. To him this was just unthinkable.

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I read about another local saying that during their own days in exile in neighboring countries, they were all treated well despite their presence there bringing unwelcome attention to those countries by the Nat government.

 

LarryG, no I don't think these attack will affect foreign tourists. They are aimed at foreigners living in townships. The attacks are taking place in the townships and aren't spread throughout the entire South Africa. Tourists are however still subject to the usual criminal risks, as terrible as that sounds.

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John, the fact that Bob is again going to rig this election is another add-on factor to this mess.....the locals will tolerate alot from the MDC supporters, who, in general, are the working guys in the cities. It's the Mugabe supporters who will get the most attention as they are responsible for keeping Bob there, thus, why r they in SA, they should go back and live with their chosen president.....they are also the arogant ones.....

 

I know all of the guys targeted are not just Zimmies....just taking them as an example...

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Now there is the suggestion within government circles that white, right-wingers might be the organizers of the attacks. Read this article and this one. Manala Manzini (National Intelligence Agency director) did not use the words "white right-wingers", but he suggests that "elements that supported the apartheid regime" and that tried to stir violence during the 1994 election, are re-establishing contacts in the hostels and inciting them to violence. Essop Pahad (minister in the presidency) does however use the words "right-wingers".

 

I'm not saying that it is impossible that white right-wingers could have a hand in this, but since the suggestion has now been made (without proof) and is on record, unless the govt produces solid proof supporting this suggestion, this type of statement sounds very much like Mugabe's motto, "let's blame the whites for things that go wrong".

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"let's blame the whites for things that go wrong".

 

Is that not what is written on the National Coat of Arms? "!KE E: /XARRA //KE" :whome:

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The bottom line is the rising fuel costs, inflation, not enough jobs due to the first two reasons. etc

 

this thing isn't going to end here, it has already spread to Knysna last night. It's now in 5 of the 9 provinces.

 

Gauteng.

Mpumalanga.

Limpopo.

KZ-Natal.

And even the last "toevlugsoord" of white South Africans, The Western Cape.

 

The gov were aware of the looming potential problem years ago, but again did nothing, and now they want to open the SA borders to all of Africa by 2010.

See my topic on " open Borders by 2010"

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Of course, someone has to blame it on rightwingers linked to the former apartheid government

 

 

safrica_violence_dc_29

 

That is and will always be the problem! Shifting blame, denying the problems exist and ignoring problems.

In this case we have the whole trifecta!

 

1) The problem was denied, in the eyes of the SA government, open borders was NOT a problem and it was seen as a sign of a "rainbow" nation and success. (Keep in mind that people streamed into RSA during the height of Apartheid)

 

2)Then when people started to complain that jobs and housing are been taken away from RSA citizens by Zimbabweans, Malawaians etc. the problem was ignored.

 

3)Now that citizens are taking things into their own hands and the world is pointing out that there's a problem they(the RSA government) blames someone else. Apartheid, the Old Guard, Whites, the Old regime....

 

 

A while ago I had this same discussion with "Commonsense" (If I remember the name correct) and the person who was on his way to the USA on a tour to promote some SA charity.

 

Th bottom line is Nothing will ever be done to fix the problems in SA Or the rest of Africa for that matter). Twenty years from now I can guarantee you that they will still be blaming Colonialism, Apartheid and whites for the woes of Africa.

 

Twenty years ago there was a lot of African countries that gained independence from colonial overlords.... Was there improvements? are the people better off?

 

 

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Now the government is admitting that it knew something was brewing. Of course, they didn't do anything about it.

 

The article also quotes DA leader, Helen Zille, who said: "...instead of admitting to its failures, the ANC government had "cast around for excuses" by claiming the violence was the result of a right-wing plot."

 

This is basically what you said, Ian. First deny that the problem exists, then, when you do finally acknowledge it, ignore it , and lastly, when it gets out of hand, find someone else (preferably white) to blame for the problem.

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