By Mofolo Mohapi, South Africa
When this latest xenophobic attacks broke out, I burned-out. For days I could not summon enough energy to say anything. The reason for this is quite simple. We had been there before and had this expectation, like many others, that out of these ugly memories of the past, some instructive lessons, were picked up. Obviously it was very difficult to find evidence of this, which became an added burden in itself. The moral issues here are that as long as we do not learn anything, this pain will not get away and will remain there until such time that we all get it right.
We have had colonialism and we have had apartheid. We have been to both hells, back and forth. We know what real suffering really means, and yet out of all these experiences, we have never, through different epochs of our lives, had a desire or alternatively developed a taste, to play the man. In return, this prevented us from forgetting that we are human beings, and that within the universal order of things, we have a higher responsibility, which is to learn to get along.
In addition, the frequency with which these attacks occur suggests that there is no relationship and correlation between the demands and economics. For if it were to be true, we would had experienced the resurgence of tribalism.
The "Concerned Residents Association", is a relatively knew phenomena in post-apartheid South African history. Over the last twenty years it has been clothed in different attires, but fact of the matter is that it's a political project. And incredibly, it never takes a visible provincial or national dimension. Its demands are confined to municipalities and alternate between service delivery and xenophobic issues. Its goal is always a build up to something, that is in pursuit of naked chauvinist narrow indecent interests. The effects it leaves behind though after its wake, includes but are not limited too, the break up of social cohesion, anomie and the destruction in communities. It further does not follow democratic processes and rules of engagement.
There exist a strong body of empirical evidence that support this hypothesis and yet relevant state agencies were left wanting and unrepositioned. If this assertion is false, the converse should also hold true, that they moved in with speed and there was no looting and malicious damage to properties.
The Ministerial Task Team Report on Xenophobia forms the basis of public participation process going forward. We are in this for the long haul. If anything, we need to do this for ourselves as an equivalent of a collective cleansing.
Let me just leave it here but these attacks, which are clothed in xenophobia, has to stop.Card