It’s heartbreaking and appalling to witness the xenophobia happening in South Africa. I recall from my childhood the struggle that many South Africans experienced as they were ostracized from their homes because of apartheid.
What’s tragic is that the ongoing xenophobic attacks against immigrants are “an expression of a terrible failure of memory by South Africans” who endured racial intolerance under apartheid, said to two South African foundations.
Below is a short account by Horace Chilando that sheds some great perspective on the xenophobic violence in South Africa.
Heartless and Shameless South Africans…….Listen Carefully
By Horace Chilando
South Africa..Oh South Africa. When you were in bondage, the whole of free Africa fought with you. When you were mourning, we mourned with you.
When you needed a place to run to, we opened our homes, our townships and our food stores. We sent our children, our brothers and sisters to the front lines to fight for your freedom even though we were already free.
We were convinced that we were not completely free if you were still in bondage. Our people lost their lives fighting your war. We did not complain.
None of your brothers and sisters whom we sheltered from the wrath of your oppressors faced even an insult from us. We loved them, clothed them, and fed them.
We gave them a place they could call home for even for a while. Alas you got liberated and you conveniently chose to forget your past.
You chose to forget the fact that you owe your freedom to the rest of Africa and the world who fought with you, from the Cool channels of Mozambique in the east to the Atlas mountains in the north west.
From Harare to Cairo. From Lagos to Axum in Ethiopia your war was fought. Now you have decided to pay these your brothers and sisters with xenophobic attacks, killing them mercilessly without thinking twice! Oh South Africa. How ungrateful you are!
How can you burn your fellow human being with tires like common criminals when the only crime they have committed is that of being foreigners in your country just like you were foreigners in theirs? Oh South Africa.
One day you shall pay for your heartless acts against a people who have done nothing but love you. The leadership of that great country have failed mother Africa.
They have allowed this situation to escalate to this level. They have not told their people how they benefited from the help of the people they are killing mercilessly now.
God help Africa