I was in London when the so-called Xenophobic attacks erupted in South Africa. The UK media was focusing on their election and so I actually had no idea what was going on. Shame on me in many ways. How this passed me by seems unfathomable.
By the time I came back things had calmed down and so I didn’t know how what to say. However, a week or so later I do think it’s important to say this: Attacking someone for any reason is terrible. Attacking someone because they are different by any stretch of the imagination is so against what South Africa idealises it makes me sick.
I say so-called xenophobia because I do think a lot of this behaviour is just an excuse to behave criminally. We have a frustrated, unemployed youth who are eager to find “causes” to rally behind. I hope they know they have shamed their mothers. Their mothers and fathers who know what it’s like to be treated unspeakably because they were perceived as “different”. What an embarrassment for all they suffered for. Suffered for to achieve a free state where all are equal
One reason I love South Africa is because we are so very free in so many ways. Our law does not oppress race, background, religion or sexuality. Yay us. But then, turns out we’re greedy and we don’t like to share. I know it is tough out there. I have worked in the townships and in Hillbrow at night but I also know that most people will work for what hey want and don’t just want to “take” it.
Shame on those who think they are entitled. The government has a lot to answer for because I can only blame them for an unemployed and frustrated youth.