The recent bouts of xenophobic attacks by Black South Africans on Black African immigrants in the Rainbow Nation, has been condemned by all good natured people across the continent and the world. With Nigerians being the main target, it is strange that some people are imputing the blame on the Nigerians and not the perpetrators.
Today we are being told that the West Africans had established cartels and mafia families where they trade in hard drugs, operate prostitution businesses, and other vices. This is the reason for the bloody and deadly attacks on them.
People have so soon forgotten the words of South African President Cyril Ramaphosa, during his campaign, which had something to do with foreigners taking over jobs in South Africa, which, in a way, sparked off xenophobic attacks on Black non-South Africans, before the elections.
During those cruel and deadly attacks a warning was sounded that what was happening was only a prelude to greater and more intensive attacks after the elections. An ultimatum was given to all non-South African Blacks to get out of South Africa before a date given in May this year.
It is, therefore, very strange for some people to blame Nigerians for these current xenophobic attacks. In fact, such an accusation rather flies in the face of security administration and conduct of security officers in South Africa. We are, in effect, being told that in that country mob justice and injustice are more effective ways of preventing and stopping crime than the uniformed police or army, who are paid to make that country safe.
Some few xenophobic attacks ago, a Ghanaian was killed and the South African High Commissioner in Ghana told us that our kinsman died of natural causes. This insult is yet to be pardoned when she came out with another insult.
High Commissioner Lulu Xingwana has said, as recorded and published by some media outlets, that African governments should create jobs for their citizens to discourage them from travelling to South Africa for greener pastures.
So it is now official, from the South Africa government, that the xenophobic attacks now and then have nothing to do with alleged criminal acts of Nigerians, but they are necessary evils to create job avenues for Black South Africans.
Well said! But it is highly incomprehensible to perceive such statement coming from South Africa because, if that is the thinking and government policy of South Africa, then it must first show the way by closing down and evacuating all South African businesses in Ghana, and in all other African nations.
When these businesses closed down, we shall have the buildings converted into local businesses to create job avenues for our people who will return from South Africa. And also, back home, the South Africa mega businesses can create job avenues for the youth. Xingwana must advise her country to take these steps as a matter of urgency.
The list is long, and we have MTN, Shoprite, Game, DSTV, Woolworth and Engen, to mention just a few, as South African businesses which export goods and services from that country into Ghana, which was worth $516 million in 2013, growing almost four times from $138 million in 2010. To date, we might be getting close to $1.0 billion. Ghana is the second largest export market for South Africa in West Africa, after Nigeria.
The economy life blood for South Africa is from other African countries, and incidentally, the same countries whose nationals are attacked, maimed and killed for committing no crime, except that they chose to work in South Africa.
Commissioner Xingwana is saying that it is a crime for people to migrate and aggregate in another country and look for jobs; so why are South Africans here doing business? She said it was wrong for anyone to attribute the violence being recorded in her country, South Africa, to hatred of other African nationals. I pause to ask, is it a show of love to slash a fellow human, to stab a fellow human, to club down a fellow human, to chop off the limbs of a fellow human, to release lots of bullets into a fellow human, and to set a fellow living human ablaze? If doing all this is not hatred, then I shudder to see what South Africans do to those they hate.
Commissioner Lulama “Lulu” Mary Theresa Xingwana is almost 64 years, and so I will assume she is very experienced in life under the racist apartheid regime; I assume she knew or was informed about how free African countries fought their battle for them; I assume she knew or was told of how funds flowed into the struggle for independence of all Black South Africans under apartheid; I assume she knew or was told of how lots of South African youth were given adequate education in the choicest schools in free African countries where the states picked the bills; I assume Commissioner Lulu Xingwana knew or was told about funds sent to oil the machinery of the militants, so that the fight against apartheid was on all fronts.
If Commissioner Lulu Xingwana is to calculate all the amounts free African nations pumped into the freedom fighters to fight apartheid, she would find out that if those funds were retained in the free African nations, there would have been massive development, and that could slash down drastically the number of immigrants to South African. It is speculated that Nigeria alone pumped an equivalent of $69 billion into the struggle against apartheid.
From the way South Africa is going, we should not be surprised that in generations to come, posterity will praise the apartheid system as a system of governance that effectively subdued and humbled a blood thirsty race of people and made them behave as humans; but unfortunately, the world misunderstood that system and labelled it evil.
And, as we say in Ghana, Lulu Xingwana, please, if you have nothing good to say, do not say it here.
Hon. Daniel Dugan