Xenophobia in SA: Malawians nationals who were attacked in Sydenham on 25 March 2019 Xenophobia is not only the fear or hatred of foreigners bu
Xenophobia is not only the fear or hatred of foreigners but is also a discourse concerned with a process of social and political exclusion of some groups of the population. This amounts to a process of social exclusion from community of such groups.
This exclusion is regularly seen as necessary for the existence of the community in other words citizenship is reduced to indigeneity while remaining in essence passive.
The South African society has experienced a problem of xenophobia since it’s liberation in 1994, a problem which is particularly shocking given the support by foreign countries for the struggle against apartheid.
Xenophobia is actually directed at Africans from all over the continent while some nationalities like Nigerians, are singled out, in the media as being associated with illegal activities such as drug dealing and human trafficking.
South African Africa’s culture has become xenophobia and the society often complains that the foreigners are responsible for the criminal activities, increasing unemployment rate or even human trafficking while in actual fact the said foreign nationals came to South Africa for political or economic reasons.
This treatment is also justified on the basis of the social and economic problems facing the country where the majority of the population is said to live in poverty in South Africa.
In my opinion Xenophobia is the fruits of colonialism and the apartheid system which had brainwashed black society so it could be the stereotype of hatred and see each other as enemies instead of one nation or embrace the rainbow nation.
The establishment of the homelands by the Apartheid Government was a central element of this strategy, so the goal was to make the Homelands independent.
The idea was to separate Blacks from the Whites, and give Blacks the responsibility of running their own independent governments, thus denying them protection and any remaining rights Blacks could have in South Africa. In other words, homelands were established for the permanent removal of the Black population in White South Africa.
As a result, blacks would lose their South African citizenship and voting rights, allowing whites to remain in control of the country. The South African Homelands ceased to exist on 27 April 1994, and were re-incorporated into the new nine provinces of a democratic South Africa.
Contributions of African States on the fight against Apartheid in South Africa
The collapse of apartheid and the advent of democracy in South Africa was regionally supported by a group of Southern African states called the Frontline States. On 16 December, 1961, Umkhonto weSizwe (Spear of the Nation) or MK was launched as an armed wing of the African National Congress (ANC).
This happened after it became evident that the non-violence strategy initially used by political forces in order to fight against the government’s racially biased policy had failed.
The strength of the ANC was increasing due to the influence of the Pan Africanism. These states hosted the ANC members who went on exile during the Apartheid era. Here are highlights on how the Frontline states helped the ANC in the fight against apartheid.
After the launch of MK in the 1961 Jonas Matlou in Botswana was sent to my formally establish an ANC office and to work underground in setting up a transit point for ANC members leaving the country for military training. He also worked with other African countries, establishing relationships on behalf of ANC.
During the 1970s another MK mission was launch in Swaziland. The country was also used as a transit point by MK cadres on their way to military training in other African countries.
The ANC formally established its presence in Zimbabwe by appointing Joe Gqabi as the party’s Chief Representative in Harare. ANC and MK cadres live in exile in Zimbabwe.
Following the Sharpeville Massacre on 21 March 1960, Frene Ginwala went to Tanzania to establish an office in Dar es Salaam. While there, she worked as a journalist and received ANC members as they came into the country.
She helped party top brass, among them Tambo, Yusuf Dadoo and Nelson Mandela, who met the country’s president, Julius Nyerere.
The political activities of the ANC inside South Africa had an impact on political developments in Lesotho and this laid the foundation for future relationships. Ntsu Mokhehle, the founder of the Basotho African Congress in Lesotho was a former member of the ANC Youth League.
After the banning of the ANC in South Africa in 1960, the party moved to establish structures outside the country. Some of its members, together with those of the Pan African Congress (PAC), fled the heavy handed state crackdown on political activists and went to Lesotho.