Zuma Junior, son of President Jacob Zuma, wants all foreigners to get out of South Africa, and has incited a wrath of criticism for remarks he recently made. Edward Zuma hastily followed the recent rantings of King Goodwill Zwelithini, who said foreigners should “pack their bags and leave.”
According to King Zwelithini, foreigners are changing the nature of South African society and taking advantage of undisciplined locals. The president’s son advocates the Zulu king’s calling to rid South Africa of foreigners, and believes immigrants do not conform to the legalities of securing proper documentation enabling them to work in the country. Zuma said that companies disregard the labor laws by employing foreigners and paying below-minimum wages.
Another factor the president’s son cited was the amount of illegal guns used by foreigners in the country. As South Africa has a high crime rate, it is a responsibility of government to crack down on crime and prevent the threat of a possible coup in the future. Zuma believes foreigners fuel the drug situation in South Africa. While it is a fact that drug lords and drug-related crimes have increased substantially over the last ten years, the entire blame cannot be passed solely to foreigners.
It is not only foreigners from African countries that are called to leave South Africa, but also Asians and Europeans as well. Zuma believes foreigners are a threat to South Africa.
Several foreigners are angered by the comments of both the Zulu king and Edward Zuma, and have said there are many reasons South Africa has become their country of choice in which to live. The war and poverty in African countries have forced millions of people to flee their homelands. The massacre of people and rape of women also force foreigners to come to South Africa, who perceive South Africa as a democratic country with massive opportunities.
The published article which included the quotes regarding the foreigners by King Zwelithini and President Jacob Zuma’s son has sparked a flurry of complaints. The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) has confirmed that the department has been approached and investigations are underway.
Illegal immigrants are a concern for the South African government, and while Zuma Junior might raise a few valid points, it is the solution that must be sought. The blame of illegals living in South Africa rests on the government, who dismantled the secure borders and failed to do proper border control. It is easy to enter the country, and as Zuma Junior quite rightly stated, the mass of illegal weapons are a worry, but it is the control that must be determined.
Local South Africans live among foreigners and encounter problems on a daily basis. Since 2008, the escalation of xenophobia has reared its ugly head in townships, forcing foreigners to leave. Burning of businesses, looting and killing are unresolved elements of clashes between foreigners and locals. The government has not addressed the complexity of the issue of foreigners and the failing infrastructure caused by crime and overcrowding.
There are many companies who employ foreigners and have said that the South African local labor pool are lazy, demanding, greedy and intolerant. It is the foreigners who are willing to work hard and demand less, and based on the decline in productivity in the manufacturing, mining, and engineering sectors, it is no wonder the locals are complaining.
Edward Zuma was born in Swaziland and, as the son of the president, should not embarrass the government and ruling party, the African National Congress (ANC). After all, it was the foreigners who opened arms and accommodated the terrorist organization during the fight for liberation and democracy.
Opinion by Laura Oneale
Image attributes – GovernmentZA – Flickr License