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ideas have consequences

You are here:Home>>Items filtered by date: September 2019
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All Africa, All the Time.

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. "


South Africa is losing her mind and status in the world as a responsible African nation. Therefore it is incumbent on conscientious members of the global community to bring this guttural nation to her senses. The killings of foreigners in South Africa are getting out of hands. These killings and xenophobic attacks cannot be tolerated any longer. The lives of African immigrants and visitors residing and visiting South Africa are now in peril. For some time, since the end of Apartheid government in South Africa, it seems that the country have lost her mind and have now taken her anger on foreigners in the country especially their African brothers and sisters.  They are attacking and killing Nigerians, Zimbabweans, Ghanaians, Mozambique and other Africans in their country.

Yes, “Enough is Enough.” It is beyond the pale and things are no longer at tease.

How can South Africans be this ungrateful and callous?  During the hefty weight of Apartheid government in South Africa that rested on the backs of Black majority, African nations especially Nigeria offered an unbending hands to lift up the heavy load of the racist minority White government. Nigeria utilized her status as a frontline state to wage a moral war against the evil apartheid government. Nigeria single-handedly hard-pressed South Africa as a pariah state on the global stage. Nigeria spent billions of hard currency dollars to liberate South Africa and to convince the rest of the world to defeat the racism and calamity of the apartheid government. Nigeria at one point boycotted Olympic Games for the sake of liberating South Africa. Nigeria government offered homes and residences to many Black South Africans in Nigeria.  She even offered scholarship to Black South African students to Nigerian universities even at the expense of their own people.

Image result for south africa xenophobiaImage result for south africa xenophobiaImage result for south africa xenophobiaImage result for south africa xenophobia

At one point in time the famous and fatherly Nelson Mandela was residing in Enugu at the invitation of Nnamdi Azikiwe and Michael Okpara. Mandela temporarily escaped the evil system and   sought refuge and helping hand from Nigerian government.  Nigeria never shifted her focus on South Africa until the end of the evil minority government. How is South Africa repaying Nigeria? By burning down businesses of Nigerians and killing the citizens of Nigeria and Africans living in their country. Those people they are killing and destroying their businesses are poor masses seeking solace and live hood from the country.

Nigeria, Africa and world will not close their eyes and fold their hands while xenophobic attacks are raging her ugly heads. It is time to help the lazy government of South Africa to do her job of keeping and maintaining peace and tranquility in her space of control. Maybe South Africa needs sanctions against her so she will do the right thing.

Emeka  Chiakwelu, Principal Policy Strategist at AFRIPOL. His works have appeared in Wall Street Journal, Huffington Post, Forbes and many other important journals around the world. His writings have also been cited in many economic books, publications and many institutions of higher learning including Harvard Education and Oxford University. Africa Political & Economic Strategic Center (AFRIPOL) is foremost a public policy center whose fundamental objective is to broaden the parameters of public policy debates in Africa. To advocate, promote and encourage free enterprise, democracy, sustainable green environment, human rights, conflict resolutions, transparency and probity in Africa. This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it


Wednesday, 04 September 2019 15:25

POEM : What Rain anyway?


Image result for raining

What Rain anyway?
By Emeka Chiakwelu

Siliceous tiny droplets water flowing
Arousing the atmospheric haughty cloud
Sunlight giving away to sunset
Not really indeed, it was a cloudy sky
A metaphor for the coming rain
Season for everything, a season for rainfall
The golden molecules stars emitting
Falling from the remote sky
The melting bubbles of the chicly cloud
Comes to the earth to reside
You said, “This is not a rain”
But I disagree for the ground is wet
Yet body soaking with flowing matter

Raining commencing to emit its glorious bubbles
Falling on the swollen face of agility
Did you not convince me to come?
The promise that rain cease to pour down
It was raining..But where is the falling water
Slabs of frozen pebbles were a mirage
Look under your feet, the soil is wet

This is not rain
This is falling pebbles of ice
Throwing on the naked faces of rigidity
On the soil it pours
Yet the fugacity of depravity comes not
The rains continues to pour down
Umbrella was built in awkward modus
Not wholly protected from the rain

At edges water continues to beat from all corners
Loose water running from the edges
Try staying in the middle point
That did not shield from rain
Cloths by now is wet
Throw away the unfulfilled umbrella
Is of no use anymore when totally wet
Porosity it was not raining
Unwavering points of sagacious rain

Winding dust has come and gone
Strenuous sky is calm and clear
Come out the sun now
Clearly I can see crystal clear
For the rain is gone
And sunshine becomes imminent

@CopyrightEmeka Chiakwelu


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