Xenophobia 2.0: Julius Malema has condemned xenophobic attacks against black immigrants in South Africa.
Xenophobic South Africans, mostly in Durban, have been attacking and displacing black immigrants, mostly from Malawi, Nigeria, Somalia and Zimbabwe, away from their homes. As a result of the attacks, pregnant women and babies have been forced to sleep in the open by the attackers.
The victims are mostly blaming politicians from the ruling ANC who are playing the Trump Card to drum up support as the country prepares for general elections in May. Government officials are reportedly using immigrants as a scapegoat for South Africa’s socioeconomic upheavals, thereby fueling up the xenophobic attacks just like Donald Trump had done during his US presidential bid.
“This sends South Africans a message that we are not welcome. And the only way they can communicate that is by attacking us,” said a man who asked not to be named over fears he could be targeted.
Speaking at the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party’s Western Cape manifesto launch in Cape Town on Saturday, Julius Malema condemned the attacks saying xenophobia is a manifestation of self-hate instilled in black people by white colonialists. The EFF leader said the attacks made him feel ashamed to call himself as South African.
“Don’t glorify these borders… These borders were never here. These boarders were imposed on us by white people who wanted to divide Africa and do what they wanted to do with this continent of Africa.
“I am ashamed today to call myself a South African… You are beating blacks, you are slaughtering Africans. I have never seen you doing that to a white person who doesn’t have papers. Because you hate yourself, because white people taught you to hate yourself, you kill other Africans. Stop that nonsense. It ends today, We must unite as Africans”.
Houses and shops owned by immigrants from various African countries have been looted and burnt. There have also been reports of cars being torched.
Among those left for dead is Miriam Mussa who hails from Malawi. She is sleeping in the open with her baby without any blankets.
“It was about 1am on Monday when we were forced out of our rented rooms. I was with my baby and my husband. Even though they did not hurt us after seeing that we had a small baby, they allowed us to leave with only the clothes we were wearing. We watched them as they took out all our furniture,” Miriam Mussa narrated her experience.