Winnie Mandela, veteran activist with the African National Congress and a leader in the fight to create a free South Africa, sharply condemned recent anti-immigrant riots which have swept through the nation. She described the riots as “the wrose tragedy in the post-apartheid era” and said the government’s poor economic policies and lack of services were a root cause of the frustration which exploded in anger against foreigners in the land. “Is it not a terrible indictment when 14 years after our liberation, the minister of housing stands up in parliament and says she could not buld houses because there is no money?” Ms. Mandela also blamed failure on the part of the Mbeki government to control the entry of immigrants as another cause of the riots.
Unfortunately, Winnie Mandela did not address the issue that failure on the part of the Mbeki government to take a strong stand against the dictatorial rule of Robert Mugabe in Zimbabwe has allowed Mugabe to continue his disastrous economic policies which are the root cause of millions of his countrymen fleeing to South Africa in search of work. The South African government must make clear to Mugabe it is time for him to depart and allow the Movement for Democratic Change to assume power and restore the economy so that millions will return home from South Africa.