Statement on the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa : Pan-Africanism must fight the divide and rule policy !

Statement on the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa : Pan-Africanism must fight the divide and rule policy !

The Pan African League – UMOJA through its delegation in the Federal Republic of Nigeria condemn with both sadness and anger the brutal xenophobic attacks launched in the last few days against our brothers in South Africa. We, at this juncture condole and sympathize with the affected families. The saddest fact is that today an

The Pan African League – UMOJA through its delegation in the Federal Republic of Nigeria condemn with both sadness and anger the brutal xenophobic attacks launched in the last few days against our brothers in South Africa. We, at this juncture condole and sympathize with the affected families. The saddest fact is that today an African could be seen as a foreigner on a continent he considers his own, only because some aliens artificially created those boundaries which were never there before to distinguish his nationality from that of his very own brothers. Xenophobic attacks in South Africa have not only been destroying the properties of Africans but it has also been claiming their lives every year from as far back as 1994, shortly after the country broke free from the shackle of painful apartheid regime.

Nigeria played a major role in the emancipation of South Africa from the white racist majority government. Soon after the emancipation, the two countries strengthened their bilateral ties and moved upward on the ranking of the fastest growing economy in Africa, ranked severally as first and second respectively. An achievement which is largely due to their collaborations for mutual economic gain. The withdrawal of Nigeria from the recent African economic summit in South Africa represents some threats on the future of this relationship. Also, recent attacks on Nigerian-based South African companies pose another threat but the symbolic gesture by the government of both parties in condemning these attacks and even commanding the arrest of the vandals is no doubt applaudable. This tragic occurrence can be ascribed to two facts : the fear of hegemony, and ascription of crime and moral decadence to foreigners. 

South Africans often protested the immigration of Africans into their land, claiming that job opportunities are taken away. They perceive the success of foreign firms as a factor directly responsible for the increase in unemployment rate in their country to twenty-eight percent (28%) and also a hegemony or dominance which must be fought, not realizing that their own companies such as DSTV and MTN to mention a few, have excelled beyond competition in countries with relatively high unemployment rate such as Nigeria. It is quite unfortunate that South Africans have failed to understand that unemployment is not only peculiar to South Africa or caused by so called immigrants. They refuse to recognize it as a problem created by Neocolonization of Africa. No economy can become viable under the shadow of imperialism. No economy can develop without full sovereignty. We hereby argue that by investing in South Africa, Nigerians and other Africans are not competing with South Africans on their own soil but are only creating opportunities thereby reducing unemployment rate. Does it not sound unreasonable that white immigrants are positively considered investors while blacks are negatively considered competitors? 

In South Africa today, foreigners are blamed largely for crimes, illegitimate trades and moral decadence. One cannot totally dispute that foreigners may have been abetting crimes like nationals also do, but one must on humanitarian ground condemn the arsons and brutalities on humans. Indeed, nothing can be more inhumane than setting a fellow mankind ablaze we must hereby question the citizens for taking law into their hands and South African security agencies for delayed actions as citizens revealed their plans prior to the attack. The problem of xenophobia as any other problem, cannot be considered beyond control. 

The Pan African League – UMOJA therefore urge the government of South Africa to:

1) Use the media to educate the public on unity, tolerance and the dangers of xenophobia  a true pan-African vision ; 

2) Draft laws that assures employment of a reasonable percentage of the Native peoples of South Africa (Azania) by foreign firms to avoid fear of hegemony and future attacks at large ;

3) Compensate the families of the dead victims and also surviving ones who lost their properties ;

4) Draft laws that prevent any form of attack on foreigners ; 

5) Strictly enforce laws that ban all illegitimate trades which arouse the attackers anger as they so claim ;

6) Ensure that the arrested attackers are prosecuted to prevent future occurrence ; 

7) Resolve to diplomatic strategies and reconsider some of its actions such as closing its embassy in Nigeria. This will help in maintaining south Africa’s position in the committee of nations and its ties with other African nations.

As the government of South Africa take his responsibilities, it is important as well that we urge the distinguished government of all African countries to secure the lives and properties of South Africans within their jurisdiction from any group of violent protestors.

The Pan African League UMOJA reminds that every African, national or not, can not be considered as a foreigner in any part of Africa. We believe that Africans are brothers for ever. We proved our solidarity during our struggles for the emancipation of Africa and above all during the campaign against the painful apartheid regime in South Africa. Africa stood against segregation which led to the establishment of a black majority government in South Africa. It is indeed commendable that many Africans in South Africa and the countries whose nationals were victimized by the xenophobic attack hold the view of unity as the solution to the problem. We must agree that we need one another at every point in time and we must see beyond those artificial boundaries that segregate us. We must firmly hold the view that if we are united, one day, together we will overcome.

Umoja Ni Nguvu! Unity is strength !

Katsina, September, 23rd, 2019
Nigerian Delegation
For The Political Bureau of the Pan African League – UMOJA

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