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Publication Details

Reference
ka‑Manzi, Faith  (2010) Xenophobic society and xeno‑denialist police . Mercury Eye on Civil Society column : -.

Summary
South Africa got rave reviews for our hospitality to soccer tourists.
The foreigners who were at the receiving end were mostly from the West.
If you came here from across the Limpopo or Orange Rivers, you were
probably not treated so well, and you may have been called kwerekwere.

In 2008 xenophobia claimed the lives of more than 60 people, with
several hundred thousand displaced. A new 100‑page report about how
Durban civil society reacted, with 500 pages of national reports, can be
found on the UKZN website here.

That good work was but a bandaid. The disease has returned, tragically,
as South Africans are again abusing our fellow Africans. In recent days,
attacks against immigrants occurred from Gauteng’s Ekurhuleni to the
Cape’s Khayelitsha and DuNoon to Bottlebrush settlement in Chatsworth to
Walmer in Port Elizabeth, where there were two deaths.

Immigrants’ shops were looted, people are being chased away, foreign
workers and residents are threatened, and violence has broken out.

How do we stop it? First, politicians must end their denialism. On July
1, ANC national chairperson and former SA deputy president Baleka Mbethe
said: “The reported xenophobic attack after the World Cup does not make
any sense. These reports are irrational [and] have no basis whatsoever.”

Even two weeks later, on Friday, Police Minister Nathi Mthethwa
described Western Cape xenophobia as ‘so‑called’ – implying it didn’t
happen. Police General Bheki Cele is also a denialist, claiming, “There
are a few criminal acts perpetuated by young children tasked to loot the
shops of business owners' competitors.”

As for immigrants on the run, he said, “Those fleeing this so‑called
xenophobic violence are seasonal workers who are leaving one province
for another as well as those returning home across our borders after
watching a successful World Cup.”

Can these out‑of‑touch officials either resign or at least offer an
apology, so as to reverse the damage done in the minds of an unprepared
police force and anyone else in the society who believed them?

Mthethwa and Cele must know their own force is riddled with corrupt
xenophobes. Last weekend the Centre for Civil Society’s Anti‑Xenophobia
Project filed a complaint when we learned that local Zimbabwean refugees
were being abducted and shaken down for bribes.

On Friday morning, police officers (whose license plate was recorded)
rounded up Zimbabweans at the corner of Louis and Albert Streets in
central Durban. According to one refugee, who is willing to testify in
court, the police said, “The World Cup is over. If you don't have a
permit go back to Zimbabwe.”

This man and two others were captured at 11am and driven North along the
N2 freeway. “The police said, ’Make a plan, make a plan.’ So I gave them
R30, to cover my friend and myself. The third man gave them R10. We
walked all the way back to town, arriving at 2pm.”

A Durban police commissioner, Bala Naidoo, promised he will investigate.
But this experience, all too common, raises the larger issue of whether
our police are adequately prepared, psychologically, to provide places
of safety in Durban when attacks happen.

To their credit, a formidable police presence was important as a
deterrent to xenophobia in Bottlebrush and Marianhill recently, and was
appreciated by immigrants we know there. But government must do more. We
need to see the municipality providing places of safety and emergency
contributions, instead of leaving this to churches and civil society
like in 2008.

We also must get to the root causes of the problem, to various factors
contributing to desperation‑immigration, and to the crazy anger and
pressure our countrymen feel.

Africa’s colonization created artificial national borders in 1885. When
we rebelled, our greatest Pan Africanist leaders, including Samora
Machel, Herbert Chitepo, Thomas Sankara, Patrice Lumumba and Kwame
Nkrumah, were assassinated, often with Western fingerprints on the weapons.

Dictators like Mobutu Sese Seko in the Congo and Robert Mugabe in
Zimbabwe grabbed the spoils, making deals with the South African
government during apartheid in Mobutu’s case, and post‑apartheid in
Mugabe’s.

Johannesburg mining corporates like Anglo Gold and African Rainbow
Minerals take advantage of these regimes’ mayhem. The result: a flood of
refugees, including skilled professionals, democrats and activists
denied civil rights and economic justice.

That leads to another source of tension: competition for work. Because
of our government’s macroeconomic policies, unemployment in this country
has reached extreme levels, with a million jobs lost the last year.

The Reserve Bank and Treasury have long connived with the International
Monetary Fund, the World Bank and G8/G20, leaving us more vulnerable to
the world economy. In the last election we heard promises to address
crucial problems like labour broking and lack of health insurance, but
political leaders then forgot these.

Instead there is misappropriation of monies needed for development.
Moses Mabhida Stadium was expensive with an initial budget of R1.8
billion, but how did it end up costing us R3.1 billion, paid for by
raiding Durban’s reserves?

Not far away are the Kennedy Road shacks. The municipality denied
shackdwellers formal rights to build housing and refused to install
electricity. So fires continue, and 500 shacks were lost the weekend
before the semi‑final World Cup game.

In addition to jobs and housing, another crisis for ordinary people,
raising tensions in our townships, is the soaring municipal services
bill. The rogues leading Eskom are getting R1 billion in bonuses after
charging us a fortune for unreliable electricity. They spent an
additional R12 million buying World Cup tickets for their friends. They
went to the World Bank for a R29 billion loan to build the world’s
fourth largest coal powered station, Medupi, despite the fact that South
Africa is amongst the world’s biggest carbon polluters. They give BHP
Billiton and Anglo American the world’s cheapest electricity.

While we should be ashamed of our working‑class and poor people when
they commit xenophobic acts, our ruling class has made such a mess of
everything, except World Cup parties, that pent‑up frustrations are
bound to rise.

The question is whether those without power can redirect our energies,
and those with power can avoid xenophobia‑denialism and address the root
causes. How do use our anger constructively, to eliminate corruption,
misappropriation of state funds, cronyism, inhumane economic policies,
environmental destruction, labour broking, non‑delivery of services, and
commercialization of basic necessities?

And for those in power, after sobering up now that the soccer has
stopped, decolonize and emancipate your minds from thinking that
free‑market economic policies learned from the West will work here any
better than in Iceland, Ireland, Greece or the United States.

If xenophobia continues, even at a low‑intensity level, this scourge
will have very negative repercussions. Our economic, arts and cultural,
sporting and intellectual exchanges with the rest of the world will be
stained. Bad vibes between our citizens and the rest of the continent
will spread and hospitality we receive on the continent will cease.

And the Olympic Games Bid Committee deciding on which city will host the
Summer Games in 2020 will see what we have been hiding away the last
month as dirty laundry.

(Faith ka‑Manzi is a community scholar at the UKZN Centre for Civil
Society)



Izwe elicwasa abokufika kanya namaphoyisa akuphikayo lokukucwasa
NguFaith ka-Manzi

INingizimu Afrika yaba nedumela ngokuphatha kahle izihambeli zeNdebe Yomhlaba. Lezizihambeli ezaziphatheke kahle iningi lazo ezaziqhamuka emazweni aseNyakatho. Kodwa umangabe weza kuleli uqhamuka ngaphesheya kwemifula iLimpopo noma iOrange, awuzange uphatheka kahle kakhulu. Mhlawumbe waze wabizwa nangeKwerekwere.

Ngonyaka ka2008 ukucwaswa kwabokufika kwadlula nemiphefumulo engaphezulu kwamashumi ayisithupha. Kwathi abangamakhulukhulu bazithola sebengondingasithebeni. Umbiko wamakhasi ayikhulu ukuthi umphakathi waseThekwini wenzenjani, kanye namakhasi angamakhulu amahlanu emibiko kazwelonke, iyatholakala kwiwebsite yaseUKZN: http://www.ukzn.ac.za/ccs.

Lomsebenzi omuhle kangaka wawufana nebhandishi. Lesisifo sesibuyile, njengoba iNingizimu Afrika iqhubeka futhi ihlikumeza abezizwe zaseAfrika bokufika. Kulezizinsuku ezedlule ukuhlasela kwenzeke Ekurhuleni esifundazweni saseGauteng, eKhayelisha naseDuNoon esifundazweni saseNtshonalanga Kapa emijondoloyaseBottlebrush eChatsworth rThekwini kuya eWalmer eBhayi esifundazweni saseMpumalanga Kapa.

Sikuqeda kanjani lokukucwasa? Okokuqala abezombusazwe kufanele bayeka ukuphika. Ngenyanga kaJulayi ngomhlaka, usihlalo kazwelonke kaKhongolose uBaleka Mbete wathi: “Umbiko ngokuhlaselwa kwabokufika emva kweNdebe Yomhlaba awunamqondo. Lemibiko eyinamqondo(futhi) ayibambeki nhlobo.”

Ngalololwesihlanu uNgqongqoshe Wamaphoyisa uNathi Mthethwa wachaza ukucwaswa kwabokufika kwaseNtshonalanga Kapa ‘njengokushiwoyo’ – echaza ukuthi akuzange kwenzeke. Ujenene kazwelonke wamaphoyisa uBheki Cele naye futhi ungomunye waba phikayo, ethi, “Kunobugebengu obumbalwa obenziwa yizingane ezisuke zithunywe ukuthi zintshontshe ezitolo zalabo abasuke beqhudelana nabo ngokudayisa.”

Mayelana nabokufika abacashayo, wathi, “Labo ababalekela lokhu okubizwa ngodlame kwabokufika bangabasebenzi abasebenza izikhawu abashiya isifundazwe baye kwesinye kanye nalabo abasuke sebebuyela emakhaya ngale kwemingcele yethu emva kokubukela iNdebe Yomhlaba eyaba nempumelelo enkulu.”

Kungezeka lezizikhulu ezibonakala zingazi lutho zisule emsebenzi noma-ke nje zixolise, ukubuyisela emuva umonakalo emiqondweni yombutho wamaphoyisa angazilungiselele kanye noma ngubani ezweni obakholwayo?

UMthethwa benoCele kufanele bazi ukuthi umbutho wabo ugcwele abacwaswa kakhulu futhi ngokuhwabanisa. Ngesonto eledlule uhlelo olumelene nokucwaswa kwabokufika lweCentre for Civil Society lahambisa isikhalo lapho lithola ukuthi abokufika baseZimbabwe bayanyamalala futhi baphoqwe ukuthi bakhiphe izimali.

Ngolwesihlanu ekuseni, amaphoyisa (inombolo yecwecwe lemoto ayehamba ngalo elabhalwa phansi) basusa abesizwe saseZimbabwe emakhoneni emigwaqo uLuois kanye noAlbert maphakathi neTheku. Ngokusho koyedwa wabokufika, ozimisele ukufakaza enkantolo, iphoyisa lathi, “Indebe Yomhlaba isiphelile. Uma ungenayo imvume phindela emuva eZimbabwe.”

Lendoda kanye namanye amabili abanjwa ngehore leshumi nanye ekuseni bayiswa eningizimu kathelawayeka iN2. “Amaphoyisa athi, “Enza icebo , enza icebo.’ Ngakho-ke- ngawanika amashumi amathathu amarandi, ukuvikela umngani wami kanye name. Indoda yesithathu yabanika ishumi lamarandi. Saphindela emuva edolobheni ngezinyawo, saze safika ngehore lesibili ntambama.”

Ukhomishani wamaphoyisa aseThekwini, uBala Naidoo wathembisa ukusesha. Kodwa lokhu okwaziwa yilaba, okujwayelekile kakhulu, kwenza sibuza ukuthi ngabe abezombutho wamaphoyisa azilungiselele ngokwanele yini mayelana, nezengqondo, ukuletha izindawo zokuvikela eThekwini uma lokhukuhlasela kwenzeka.

Ume singabancoma-nje, ukubakhona kwabo ngobuningi kwabaluleka nnjengokuvimba ukucwaswa kwabokufika eBottlebrush kanye naseMarianhill kungekudala-nje. Kodwa uhulumeni kufanele enze ngokweqile. Sidinga ukubona umasipala udla izindawo ezivikelekile kanye nezezimo eziphuthumayo, esikhundleni sokuyekelela kumasonto kanye nezinhlangano zemiphakathi njengoba kwenzeka ngo2008.

Kufanele futhi sithole umnyombo walenkinga, kuya ezintweni ezenza ukuthi abantu babalekele kulelelizwe, kanye nobuhlanya bolaka kanye nengcindezi izakhamizi zezwe lethu eziyizwayo.

Ukubuswa kweAfrika amazwe aseNyakatho kwadala imingcele eyayingekho ngo1885. Ngenkathi sibhikisha, abaholi bethu abaphambili baseAfrika, abambandakanya oSamora Machel, Herbert Chitepo, Thomas Sankara, Patrice Lumumba kanye noKwame Nkrumah, basocongwa, futhi kuyizandla zabamhlophe ezazigcwele igazi labo.

Ondlovukayiphikiswa njengoMobutu Sese Seko waseCongo kanye noRobert Mugabe waseZimbabwe bona bazicebisa ngalokhu, benza izivumelwano nohulumeni waseNingizimu Afrika ngesikhathi sobandlululo ikakhulukazi uMobutu kwathi uMugabe yena wakwenza nohulumeni wentando yeningi.

Izimboni ezimba phansi zaseGoli njengeAnglo Gold kanye neAfrican Rainbow Minerals bayazuza kakhulu ngalokuzwana kwalamazwe. Umphumela: ukufika kakhulu kwabezizwe baseAfrika, okumbandakanya abangochwepheshe, abezentando yeningi kanye nezishoshovu ezisuke zinganikwa amalungelo abantu kanye nobulungiswa kwezomnotho.

Lokhu kuholela kokunye ukungezwani: ukuqhudelana ngomsebenzi.Ngenxa yemigomo yezomnotho kahulumeni wethu obhekelela amazwe aseNyakatho; ukungabikhona kwemisebenzi kunyuke ngendlela engamukeleki, bengaphezulu kwesigidi abalahlekelwe imisebenzi yabo kulonyaka odlule.

Nokungasetshenziswa kwezimali ezidingakala ekuthuthukiseni okumbandakanya ukwenyuka ngoR1.3 billion ngokwakhiwa kweNkundla iMoses Mabhida, okungakachazwa, okukhokhelwe ngezimali ezigciniwe eThekwini.

Khona-nje njalo eduze kwalenkundla imijondolo yomgwaqo uKennedy. Umasipala unqabela abahlali basemjondolo amalungelo okwakha izindlu kanye nokubafakela ugesi. Ngakho-ke leyandawo iyaqhubeka nokusha, futhi imijondolo engamakhulu ayisihlanu yacekeleka phansi ngempelasonto lapho kuzobhekana khona ezikanobhutshuzwayo kwisemi-final.

Ngaphezu kokuthi abanntu baswele imisebenzi kanye nezindlu, okunye okuphuthumayo kubantu ukwenyuka kwamanani ezidingo ezilethwa ngumasipala

Ngenkathi lapho kufanele sibe namahloni lapho abasebenzi kanye nabahluphekayo bezwe lakithi uma becwasa abokufika, ababusi bethu benza kwabhidlanga konke okungekuhle ngaphandle-nje kokuthi imicimbi ebungaza iNdebe Yomhlaba, intukuthelo abantu abayicindezele izogcina iphumele ngaphandle.

Umbuzo ukuthi ngabe labo abangenamandla bangayibhekisaphi intukuthelo yabo, labo abanamandla bayeke ukuphika ukuthi ukucwasa kwabokufika kukhona bese bebhekana nomnyombo waloludaba. Ngabe silusebenzisa kanjani ulaka lwethu ngokwakhayo, ukuqeda inkohlakalo, ukuphathwa nhlakanhlaka kwezimali zezwe, ubuhululu, imigomo yezomnotho engabhekeleli abantu, ukucekelwa phansi kwezemvelo, ukuqashwa kwesikhashana, kanye nokudayiswa kwezidingongqangi.

Futhi labo abasemagunyeni, uma sekuphelile ukudakwa emva kokuphela kweNdebe Yomhlaba, kufanele mahambele kude nemicabango yaseNyakatho bakhulule imiqondo ngokucabanga ukuthi imigomo yezomnotho yamazwe aseNyakatho izosebenza kuleli kangcono kunaseIceland, eIreland, eGreece noma kambe eMelika.

Uma ukucwaswa kwabokufika kuqhubeka, noma ngabe kuncane kangakanani, lesisifo sizoba nomthelela omubi kakhulu. Ezomnotho zethu, ezamasiko zezobuciko, ezemidlalo kanye nobuhlkakani kwethu kuyohlala kunogcobho emhlabeni wonke. Ukungazwani phakthi kwezakhamizi zethu kanye nezwekazi lonke laseAfrika kuyosabalala kanti nokuphatheka kahle uma sivakashele lamazwe kuyoshabalala.

Njengoba iKomidi Labaqagalisayo ukuthi imidlalo yamaOlympic iyothathwa iliphi idolobha kwiMidlalo YaseHlobo ka2020 siyoba sesibona ukuthi konke lokhu ebesikufihlile sekuphumele obala.If xenophobia continues, even at a low-intensity level, this scourge will have very negative repercussions. Our economic, arts and cultural, sporting and intellectual exchanges with the rest of the world will be stained. Bad vibes between our citizens and the rest of the continent will spread and hospitality we receive on the continent will cease.

(UFaith ka-Manzi ungumfundi wezinkinga zomphakathi ngaphansi kweUKZN Centre for Civil Society)

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