South Africa has been under xenophobic attacks since 1994, after immigrants faced discrimination from others within Africa. The xenophobia incidents were increased by an institutionalized racism group. During the years of 2000 and May 2008, 67 people have been reported dead due to the xenophobic attacks. After May 2008, another 62 were reported dead, and 21 of them were South African. Today, South Africa’s xenophobic attacks are continuously forcing people to live in fear.
Xenophobic attacks derived from the word xenophobia, which means foreign fear. People from other countries are prone to fear others, that are different and coming in to make a change. Since South Africa established a democratic government in 1994, the attacks have continued to persist due to poverty, unemployment, and inequality.
South Africa, President Jacob Zuma, has done nothing to stop the attacks on the people, and his son has began to call the government out, for running away from the problem. In response to the bombing of shops, that has recently taken place, Zuma had a statement released by The United Democratic Movement, leader Bantu Holomisa declaring, they are not apart of the nonsense.
Xenophobic attacks leaves people in fear with the government, by pulling out of controlling prevention of the attacks. African National Congress Secretary General has stopped local leaders from getting involved, due to arresting foreigners in the past making things worst. Officials told Eyewitness News, their only responsibility to begin a change, is to educate people to let go of anger, and appreciate those that are not African, because it is “un-African to attack a foreigner.”
When reporters tried to interview citizens many would not participate, they did not want to be harassed later on by the rebels of the towns. Dr. Sage Nasiah, South African University instructor, has condemned the doings of the attacks, and also made a few remarks in regards of why they have not been stopped yet. He believes the attacks are an outcome of the social-economic structure, which causes problems for people adapting to the change of post-apartheid.
The change has led small business owners to close their shops, due to the poverty, and allowed bigger retailers and businesses to come in and take over. Most of the new owners are foreigners, and it makes people angry with the change, since they have no control over the foreigners culture, or perception of life. The residents are poor and are afraid of change, which forces them to rebel, they lack the knowledge of the greatness change can bring, not only to them today, but also to their future lineage.
Makgoba has expressed that change needs to happen in South Africa soon, the levels of poverty and unemployment have exploded out the window. Many of the people are tired of living in fear, but with the lack of a government to protect them from the ignorant, and rebels destroying and killing off anybody and everyone, it is hard to attempt to make a change. Makgoba and his fellow religious leaders has had no where else to turn to but God, and they are asking for restraints on all sides, while sending their condolences to the innocent families, whom have lost loved ones over the years.
South Africa xenophobic attacks will leave people in fear until someone steps up and try to make a difference. They need more education to show people it is okay to have others come in and make a change, if it is for a better cause.
Opinion By Krystle Mitchell