Sunday, October 20, 2019
Add this page to Blinklist Add this page to Del.icoi.us Add this page to Digg Add this page to Facebook Add this page to Furl Add this page to Google Add this page to Ma.Gnolia Add this page to Newsvine Add this page to Reddit Add this page to StumbleUpon Add this page to Technorati Add this page to Yahoo


ideas have consequences

You are here:Home>>Strategic Research & Analysis>>Chief Buthelezi : South African Strongman speaks on xenophobic attacks
Monday, 09 September 2019 19:36

Chief Buthelezi : South African Strongman speaks on xenophobic attacks

Written by Administrator
Mangosuthu Buthelezi  Mangosuthu Buthelezi


South African elder statesman, former minister of Home Affairs  and Inkatha Freedom Party  (IFP) president emeritus and traditional prime minister to the Zulu nation, Mangosuthu Buthelezi  speaks on his country xenophobic attacks on foreigners especially Nigerians.


"I must speak very bluntly to my fellow South Africans, not to take sides, but to quell the tensions with the voice of truth. What we have seen in the past few days is unacceptable. The attacks on foreign nationals and their businesses are purely xenophobic. It is a violation of human rights and a violation of our Constitution. Our Constitution enshrines the right to freedom from all forms of violence. That right applies to everyone in South Africa, whether citizens or not.




We cannot allow this to move in cycles. It is not the first spate of attacks; but it must be the last  -Mangosuthu Buthelezi




I understand the tensions, the complaints and the anger. I understand that there is validity to the complaints, on both sides. I also understand that wrongs have been committed by both sides. This has not come out of nowhere. But there is a saying in Zulu that you cannot slaughter all the sheep because one sheep has transgressed. In a situation of conflict, it is dangerous to tar everyone with the same brush. Even where there are valid complaints against an individual, we cannot take the law into our own hands. Looting and destruction of property is a crime, full stop. Assault is always wrong.


Don’t think these things have no consequences. This violence has diplomatic and economic ramifications. We have hundreds of thousands of South Africans living in countries throughout Africa. We have businesses and companies operating across this continent. We have vital trade relations within the African Union and within SADC, the Southern African Development Community. South Africa is not an island. There will be sanctions against us for what we are doing. It started with the Zambian Football Association cancelling a soccer match against Bafana Bafana. Then Nigeria announced a boycott of the World Economic Forum on Africa being held in Cape Town. But as I feared they would, sanctions quickly turned to retaliation.


Already South African-owned companies in Nigeria have been targeted for looting and vandalism. MTN has had to close all its stores to protect staff, while the police stand guard at Shoprite stores. On Thursday our diplomatic missions in Abuja and Lagos were forced to close after threats were received. President Buhari has announced a visit to South Africa to speak to President Ramaphosa. We need to stop this thing in its tracks before serious action is taken against us. Do we really want to escalate into international conflict? I feel ashamed. As Africans we are making ourselves a laughing stock in the rest of the world. Because the world knows what we seem so quick to forget: Africans are brothers and sisters. In every family there are quarrels and squabbles. But the way we are behaving is shooting ourselves in the foot. We are making the name of South Africa a swear word on the continent.
Image result for Mangosuthu Buthelezi

This is not the first time we have had a spike of xenophobic attacks is our country. In 2008 and in 2015 lives were lost and livelihoods destroyed as communities went on the rampage against foreign nationals. I went then, too, to the communities and townships, and I spoke as I am speaking now.  But now my words are somehow different. The sentiments have not changed, but there is a sense of urgency because I fear what will happen if we fail to extinguish this fire. The IFP has formally asked the Speaker of the National Assembly to call an urgent debate in parliament, not just to condemn xenophobia, but to hear what the state intends to do to swiftly end the violence.



We cannot allow this to move in cycles. It is not the first spate of attacks; but it must be the last. We have been facing the rising problem of undocumented migration ever since 1994. I served as the first Minister of Home Affairs in a democratic era. For ten years my department grappled with this, trying to find a way to balance human rights with the good of the country.I was struck even then by the number of undocumented Africans within our borders, especially from Zimbabwe, and the implications this had for our ability to create social and economic justice for South Africans. But when I pointed out our porous borders and said they need to be guarded, some people actually accused me of xenophobia, saying it was because I didn’t go into exile.



 


If anyone knows what our African brothers sacrificed for the sake of our struggle, it is I -   Buthelezi




Many of the countries whose citizens were coming to South Africa had given sanctuary to our political exiles during the struggle for freedom. Being an Anglican myself, I received a letter from the Anglican Bishop of Mozambique, Bishop Dinis Sengulane, lamenting that I was not helping his people who were flocking to South Africa. These accusations were painful, and quite misplaced. Because if anyone knows what our African brothers sacrificed for the sake of our struggle, it is I. I went myself to Zambia and Tanzania in 1974, to thank President Kaunda and President Nyerere for giving sanctuary to all our exiles. Earlier this year, I again visited His Excellency Dr Kenneth Kaunda in Zambia, and he spoke touchingly about the risks they took on our behalf. Let me quote him directly. "

 

Last modified on Monday, 09 September 2019 19:43

Add comment