South Africa Confronts Xenophobic Hatred

The people of South Africa fought for creation of a society in which discrimination and inequality ended in order to establish a multi-racial nation in which equity for all individuals was respected. However, during the past several months there have been numerous attacks by South Africans against refugees from Zimbabwe and other African nations who have migrated in search of work or to avoid violence in their own countries. Over the past weekend a mob of vigilantes caused a Zimbabwean and Tanzanian to fall to their deaths from a high-rise building while trying to escape their pursuers. Advocacy Officer Duncan Breen decried the ongoing attacks on fellow Africans by those who take the law into their own hand. “South Africa’s constitution provides for the protection of the rights of all” but there are those who prefer acting like vigilante mobs.

The attacks a few months ago against African immigrants led to thousands fleeing South Africa and the death of several Zimbabweans by those who were angry at “foreigners” securing work they believed should be reserved to those born in the country. It is a sad commentary that South Africans now attack those who come from other African nations even though in the fight to end apartheid assistance came from the very nations whose citizens now face vigilante action.