Leaders should refrain from making statements that could instigate violence
The attacks on foreign nationals in KwaZulu-Natal are barbaric and a reflection of a national problem which requires a long-term solution.
Our Home Affairs department should strengthen its cross border control by ensuring that proper documentation is provided at our ports of entry.
This will ensure the observance of good governance and the enjoyment of the fundamental rights of other people.
Our justice system must investigate all the factors and causes that gave rise to this crisis and identify persons or organizations that may have instigated this and recommend appropriate action against such persons.
Perpetrators must be seen to be apprehended speedily and prosecuted to the full extent of the law.
Any violation of fundamental human rights must be condemned in the strongest possible terms. More especially when directed towards vulnerable groups in our society. We cannot deny or destroy the human dignity of others without damaging our own as human beings.
KZN is in flames and it’s all thanks to our leaders. If someone is to blame for the shameful xenophobic violence currently taking place in that province, it’s king Goodwill Zwelithini.
I don’t understand why our government is downplaying the king’s distasteful comments that incited violence in that province.
Police Minister Nathi Nhleko tried to sugar-coat the king’s xenophobic comments saying the remarks have been misinterpreted.
That’s a lie. Here’s what the king said in public during a moral regeneration meeting in Pongola last month:
He basically says foreign nationals are polluting our communities and should pack their bags and go back home.
A week later, violence against foreigners in uMlazi and Isipingo followed widely because of the king’s remarks.
It took six days for the royal house to start denying and offering explanations of King Goodwill Zwelithini’s controversial remarks on foreigners in South Africa.
The Royal Household Trust also says the king has no issue with foreign nationals and his meaning was lost in translation.
Trust chairperson Judge Jerome Ngwenya told the Pietermaritzburg-based The Witness newspaper that “I understand the king departed from his prepared speech and lamented the weakness in the policing of the country’s borders. He said this has led to the country being a haven for illegal immigrants who violate and undermine the country’s laws. He urged the police … to catch those who violate the country’s laws … and return them to whence they come.”
President Jacob Zuma’s eldest son, Edward Zuma, came out in full support of the king’s comments, saying that “we need to be aware that as a country we are sitting on a ticking time bomb of them [foreigners] taking over the country”.
If Edward feels that people who were born out of this country should go back home, when is he leaving for Swaziland?
Have they even checked those people’s citizenship statuses to begin with?
I spoke to a Mozambique national Vasco. He and his family comprise of three school going children and his wife. They have sought refuge at a camp in the Green point area. They have been in the country since 1993. He tells me he loves South Africa but all he wants now is to raise money and go back home.
He broke down when I asked him about what happened leading to them seeking refuge, he recalled an incident where his fellow brother’s shop was petrol bombed and he ran out engulfed by flames.
That’s not Ubuntu fellow Africans.
He spoke about the appalling conditions at the camp. He says as a man, he’s been stripped of his dignity as a father because he can’t provide shelter and safety for his family. He spoke of the lack of proper sanitation and food, but what hurt him the most was the unbearable cold and constant fear in those tents.
Where is President Jacob Zuma amidst all this mess? His country is in flames and all he does is condemn through statements written for him and delegate ministers.
The President should be using this platform to emphasize social cohesion and nation building. He should be in KZN talking to his people.
Our ministers claim it’s not xenophobia but an act of criminality, if that’s the case why are they targeting foreign nationals only? Why don’t they steal from locals as well? Why are they chasing people away? Why are they burning people alive? Is this the rainbow nation we always boast about? Is this the Ubuntu we always claim to be rooted in?
All I’m saying is our leaders should refrain from making statements which could instigate violence.
They have a responsibility to build and not to destroy.