The people of South Africa are fast becoming slaves in their own land. South Africa owes it to herself and the rest of us who fought for their emancipation to educate the bunch of fools in their countries and by default their children to prevent them from becoming both self-destructive and xenophobic.
South Africa: From Apartheid to Slavery?
By Adeola Aderounmu
For a few days now the biggest and saddest news out of Africa is the xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
Like a whirlwind the sad occurrences in South Africa overshadowed the election results and controversies emanating from Nigeria.
In March 2014 l wrote a piece titled: Nigerians in South Africa, Victims Or Culprits? At that time the South Africans had engaged Nigerians and other African nationals in some bouts of xenophobic attacks.
When the dust settled, the information l got at that time was that South Africans already promised another showdown with unspecified date and time. The rage was there all the time.
Then in March 2015 l got an email from a South African citizen. He highlighted the several sins and crimes of Nigerians living in South Africa. He also condemned Nigerians trooping to a country where the locals are jobless.
There was a bitter complain in the email, that what was once the pinnacle of Pretoria and Johannesburg, Sunnyside and Hillbrow, have been turned into Nigerian hub of sex, alcohol, drugs and modern slavery.
The writer of the email stated that Nigerians are destroying the image of Africa through their illicit activities in South Africa.
He was also not pleased about my comment that the South Africa police are corrupt. He shouldn’t worry. Recent events around the world including the USA continue to fulfil our fears that the police are not only corrupt, but also rotten in many places. South Africa is not an exception.
What were missing in the email are the positive aspects or the essential roles that many Nigerians and other African nationals are playing in the South African health and service industries amongst several others.
Suddenly a few weeks after l received the email from this angry South African, the stupid king of the Zulus made his hate comments.
The king was angry and claimed that foreigners are spoiling businesses for them-the locals.
Just like the email l received the king also claimed that foreigners are selling drugs, promoting prostitution and competing with the locals for the few jobs available.
The Zulus are the major perpetrators of the xenophobic attacks in South Africa because it was their king that gave the go ahead to kill and pursue. This is why Durban is the worst affected place. It is in Durban that the King’s order originated.
This is not the first time the Zulu king is instigating violence. This is not the second time he is igniting xenophobic attacks by his utterances that usually play on the fragile emotions and the stupidities of his people.
Regrettably this is not going to be the last time sensitive comments about the roles of foreigners in South Africa will be used politically or otherwise to set black Africans against their brothers and sisters from another country.
The Zulus are very problematic people. It appears that the other tribes like the Khosas and the Buas are not in support of this recent madness in South Africa.
The attacks have since spread to other places. Limpopo and Johannesburg are also affected. People are being killed and goods are looted from homes and stores.
As I settled down to write this essay l got reports that a certain Julles town in Johannesburg was under attack. This is a place where many Nigerians run auto businesses in form of mechanical workshops. Many cars in the workshops have been burnt down!
There are several schools of thoughts on the rising xenophobic attacks in post-apartheid South Africa and where this could lead to in the future.
One that is a consistent narrative from different sources in South Africa is that some South African citizens can be categorised as lazy, stupid citizens. They are the ones that are easily manipulated by hate speeches such as the one given by the stupid Zulu King.
This school of thought believes that this category of South Africans is always jealous of the achievements of the foreigners.
In this post-apartheid South Africa the arguments go further that the locals have refused to do something good with their time and energy. They wait on the government to give them houses, water, light and other things all for free.
A careful analysis on this behaviour with respect to the situation during and after the collapse of the traumatic apartheid regime needs to be investigated and reported. It may help politicians in South Africa to come to their senses.
Why have the citizens of South Africa failed to take advantage of the opportunities around them thereby allowing foreigners to perch on these opportunities? What is the role of the lack of education in all these brouhaha? Why are the people generally regarded as lazy?
My investigations revealed that the people behind the massacre and looting in South Africa are those who blame the whites, their fellow Africans and even their government for everything that is not going well with them.
Sadly they have refused to get up to do something tangible with their lives. They enjoy drinking, smoking, sleeping and idling around while expecting that everything should be given to them for free. In extreme cases they loot and take from others by force or through the use of arms.
An average uneducated South African does not understand how foreigners from Malawi or Zimbabwe doing menial jobs are able to make ends meet because they don’t get the logic that little drops of water make a mighty ocean.
They are so myopic they don’t know that Nigerians can make profits with their legitimate businesses starting with little investments. They should come to Nigeria and see how hairdressers, small shop owners and several petty traders keep their families together with the profits from their different businesses.
It appears that South Africa will forever remain hostile to Nigerians and other people in their midst. The xenophobic attacks of April 2015 were already predicted in March 2014 after similar attacks.
Words from south Africa continues to reveal that these attacks will continue but at varying degrees. The prediction is that South Africa may go down one day if the government does not wake up to put her acts together.
If this ever happens, the country that has called itself by the name of an entire region-Southern Africa-will not receive aid or help from other African countries.
The post apartheid children of South Africa will eventually be taught the history and lessons of the apartheid years and that may be their saving grace from the way of perdition that they have chosen.
The successes of South African companies and organisations rest on the shoulders of the educated ones among them and the foreigners that appreciate such gestures.
It must be emphasized that those carrying out xenophobic attacks in South Africa don’t care about South Africa companies and interests abroad. They don’t comprehend it and that is why retaliations of any form will not bother them.
On this matter of xenophobism, retaliations are not the options anywhere.
This is where the roles of the government of South Africa become extremely important. They must (and by force too) educate this bunch of fools and by default their children to prevent them from becoming both self-destructive and xenophobic.
The children of the Zulus, all the children of South Africa must not be allowed to grow up with greed, jealousy and foolishness. It will spell doom for the future of the region. The leaders, l was told need to come clean and educate their citizens better. They cannot continue to threat them with kid gloves because of their selfish political gains.
From the Nigerian angle, l think it is about time Nigerians in South Africa look at themselves in the mirror too and take a stock of their sojourn in South Africa.
There are Nigerian professionals and business people in South Africa. They live and work there and contribute to the development of the country. For them South Africa is home. This is the same for Nigerians around the world, doing great in different ways. This is legitimate and a part of human nature and existence.
Unemployment is a serious problem in South Africa. So when it comes to Nigerians living on the streets in South Africa or Nigerians seeking political asylum and having no means of legitimate livelihood, l think this is an unwarranted incursion into the South African enclave.
It is this category of Nigerians that have been clumped together with other foreign nationals as pests and a burden to the South African society
To make matters worse, the Home Affairs Office in South Africa is making several billions of dollars annually from the illegality of issuing permit.
The government of South Africa has turned the issuance of resident permit to a national income earner. At R3000 for an application that can be turned down several times, this industry has come to represent the face of the South African National scam.
Still there are disturbing images of maltreatment of black Africans including thousands of Nigerians seeking different types and shades of permits.
The government of Nigeria must repatriate her citizens who have become a source of burden and even menaces to the people and government of South Africa.
For the ones who have chosen the drug business or prostitution. It is up to the South African government to sharpen her legal system. The police cannot remain corrupt while the people expect a miracle of sanity. The South African police are very corrupt and illegal businesses will always thrive in the midst of corruption.
The cure for drug businesses and prostitution is a functional law system and not xenophobic attacks. It is not as if the South African citizens are saints on this matter. People should be treated equally under the law irrespective of their nationalities or countries of origin.
One cannot also forget that South Africa is well known for the spread of crimes amongst the population. Johannesburg is ranked high among the most dangerous cities in the world.
Every day young South African rascals steal and even molest other people in the society. Sometimes guns are used and people are killed. Some people l know have suffered in the hands of South African criminal gangs.
South Africa has a lot of work to do. To stop apartheid, many African countries stood up for South Africa. I remember the endless chanting of Nigerian musicians back in the days. They sang and shouted down the walls of apartheid.
The people of South Africa are fast becoming slaves in their own land. What has become of black majority rule in the hands of the ANC? Now the aggression is towards the same people who helped them to gain freedom. There is anger in Harare and there is anger in Lagos.
Nigeria must get fully back on her feet again especially as everyone waits anxiously for the take off of the APC mandate at the national level.
Many Nigerians will return home because they are tired and frustrated in South Africa. Many other African nationals may follow suit.
History will record the next recipients of the fatal blow coming from the ignorant people of South Africa. Hopefully then the people would have identified their real enemies.
At that time when the cycle of slavery is complete and fully manifested, maybe eyes will be opened and knowledge will be common.
My final suggestion is to the people and government of Nigeria.
Arise O’ compatriots!
As your brothers and sisters start to return home, let them be fully reintegrated normally into the society. Their potentials as professionals, business people and entrepreneurs must not be allowed to rot away on home soil.
Hug them. Do not stigmatize them.