It begun as the Organisation of African Unity (OAU) with twenty-seven independent nations, with one topic on the agendum: To unite Africa and make it a United States of Africa. But they were split into two groups as to how the United Africa should operate. Twenty African nations decided the best form of governance should be a free market economy and capitalist democracy; this group was called the Monrovia Group. A group of seven nations, which included Ghana, would want a command market economy and a socialist system, so nothing materialised.
From the sixties to date, many attempts have been made to make that dream a reality, or should I say, it was discussed under matters arising during all continental summits that the call for Africa unity has now become a signature tune or an anthem to begin and end all conferences, with the Union looking more like an exclusive high society club with members more concerned about their grip on the countries than the way Africa is going.
Intra and international conflicts abode in Africa, with the AU finding it difficult to find prompt solutions. All along, Africa has in South Africa, Black non-South African immigrants, who are always at the receiving end, being butchered like prize calves prepared for a banquet meal. Xenophobia has become synonymous with South African Blacks. When will the AU act on this and take a drastic measure to deal with this country, fittingly?
It is very amazing that these brothers and sisters of ours down south have forgotten so soon, sacrifices the then Free Africa nations made so that they could win their fight against the apartheid regime.
Free Black Africa nations used important and vital chunks of their GDP to sponsor the struggle in South Africa. Funds went directly to the militant wing; got some of the Black South Africans good education in top colleges and universities in the West, and freely accommodated lots of refugees, some of who attended school free and were given pocket money as well. It is worth to note that the citizens of such charitable countries did not have access to these benefits.
I was informed that Nigeria directly invested an equivalent of $69 billion into the fight against apartheid, the struggles that finally freed Black South Africa. If this money was put into good use in Nigeria, millions would have had access to a high standard of living. We do not know how much Ghana spent on the fight against apartheid, however, we all agree that this country played an important and vital role to ensure that our brothers and sisters down south were freed from bondage.
Early this year, the Black South Africans had an excuse to descend on fellow Black African immigrants in their usual xenophobic attacks. This happened before the General Elections, after President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke something about jobs in the hands of foreigners. This has been the excuse being used to justify any xenophobic attacks on Black African immigrants. After these recent attacks, however, officialdom is shifting away from lack of jobs to the fact that Nigerians were into illegal hard drugs business, and so South Africa had the “right” to cleanse the system off these bad guys.
Opposition leader Julius Malema of South Africa, however, observed that if Nigerians were dealing in drugs, which he admitted was illegal and a crime, it must be dealt with by the law enforcing agents. He was highly emphatic when he added that crime cannot be solved with crime.
He supported actions by some other African nationals who, according to him, had taken a good stand against South Africa. Celebrities like Tiwaa and soccer star Christian Atsu and former president Mahama condemned the xenophobic attacks. Rwanda, Malawi and DRC withdrew from a World Economic Forum in Cape Town, South Africa, and Zambia cancelled a friendly match with South Africa’s senior national soccer team, Bafana Bafana.
Julius Malema stated that such barbaric conducts were destroying South Africa’s economy. Africa opened its doors to Black South Africa when it needed help, and with such an attitude against the same people who protected and fought for the Black South Africans, it will not be long for them to realise that South Africa is nothing without Africa.
As it is now, South Africa businesses have taken the front line in most African countries, eclipsing and driving out the business of the indigenous locals. Even after dominating businesses in the host nations, these South African companies go further to greedily grab more by charging over and above their respectful due.
For example, DSTV could charge customers in other African nations higher than they do back home. MTN’s dominance over the airwaves in the communication industry has created goldmines for South Africa. For example, MTN bundling of IDD calls clearly reveals a rip-off. When bundling for airtime, calls to Canada, China, USA and India will include mobile lines. Bundling to UK is for only fixed lines, so that if a customer makes calls to mobile lines in Great Britain he or she will directly pay on account, and more than those calling the other countries.
If this is not wicked and cunning, then it could be described as daylight robbery, since nowadays, most calls to the UK are always on mobile lines. Bundling for data is time specific and can expire even when the customer has more on account.
All these white collar robberies go to enrich South Africa at the expense of Ghana and other African nations. In fact, South Africa has become the new colonial master of Africa, collecting the wealth of other nations to enrich itself and boost its economy. Like the colonial masters of old, South Africa cares less about the welfare of other Africans, and has even gone further to treat us like animals. If the AU calls for a boycott of South Africa that country’s economy will collapse in no time.
It is quite amazing for the Black South African to believe what their apartheid masters had instilled into them, that they are better than other Africans. Look who is talking; and better in what way? We were under colonial administration, and that was only how far our freedom was curtailed. We could travel freely around our country and settle wherever we want to, when we were under the colonialists.
During the apartheid regime, Black South Africans were actually enslaved in their own country. They were not free to move about within the boundaries of South Africa without first being issued travel passes, as in like visas. They are not free to fall in love with just anybody at all. They were moved to the mines to work for peanuts, and got transferred from one part of the country to another at the discretion of the White Man. They were told when to sleep and when to wake, and were slaughtered like animals should they, but clear their throats in disagreement to what the system has for them. If this is not slavery, then what is it? Slaves, we all know, are people taken from the homes to other environments and forced to work. But it was only in South Africa in these modern times that people were enslaved in their own country, and they believe in the indoctrination of their White slave masters that they were and are better that the free Africans who were only colonised. I cannot believe people can be that gullible to be deceived so, and by their enemies as well.
What is on hand is for the AU to pick this xenophobic issue as a matter of urgency. The oppressed has become the oppressor, and is now even attacking those who helped them. The current death toll is amazingly high, with 118 Nigerians killed and counting in the recent attacks. Seven Zimbabweans were burnt alive, and Somalians and Ethiopians burying their dead every other day.
It also does not make sense when Nigerians are accused of dealing in drugs, when the South African xenophobic groups do drugs, as one of their leaders called Ghaddafi made in public that he needed to get drugs for his boys to smoke. And he needed to take jobs from the immigrants for his boys.
Mandela’s South Africa did not kick off on the right footing. The psychological effect of apartheid is so strong, especially with the indoctrination that other Black Africans are inferior to South African Blacks. Black Economic Empowerment could not address the problem of arming the ordinary South African with skills to work, in fact, to engage in decent ways of living. South Africa is the world’s most unequal country, according to Adeola Fayehun, with 10% of the population owning 90% of the wealth. We expect the South African leadership to squarely address this issue, instead of blaming other African nationals who go there to set up their own businesses, and fill in the hospitals and schools with highly qualified doctors, nurses and teachers.
South African Black presidents, from Mandela to Ramaphosa, have failed the Blacks, and the current leadership is hiding its incompetence behind xenophobic attacks.
The African Union must do what the OAU did and break relationships with South Africa in all sectors. South African businesses in the continent must be nationalised at no cost to the host countries, because we used our money to free the Blacks from apartheid.
Will posterity ever come to accept that the apartheid regime in South Africa was the best ever form of governance, since it put in check a blood thirsty race that kills their own? Blood thirsty Shaka the Zulu, who killed more Zulus than any king, is highly honoured by Black South Africans, so what do we expect?
The AU must act and act fast before all non-South African Blacks are killed in South Africa. We boycotted that nation during apartheid when the Whites were killing the Blacks, and so what stops us from boycotting South Africa again, when the Blacks are killing us?
Hon. Daniel Dugan