The South African government has been a disappointment to Africa, just as Nigeria; but let’s talk about South Africa.
In the 70s and 80s, Nigeria led the world in the fight to end the white supremacist regime in South Africa, known as the Apartheid.
Then Nigeria still had the muscle to flex in the continent, not now that Nigeria has become a mockery object.
It was natural, therefore, that upon the end of Apartheid, Africans would be hopeful that South Africa, led by former freedom fighters, would be a blessing to the continent. But unfortunately, the reality has been the opposite.
The post-Apartheid South Africa has been a terrible let-down, it has been like an elephant giving birth to a mouse.
Nowhere else has this been more demonstrated than in the xenophobia that has gripped the South African society for a number of years now, that the South African civilian population, particularly the blacks, would be attacking and killing black African immigrants in their country must be blamed on the Government of South Africa.
The black leaders of South Africa have failed the basic test of leadership, which is a terrible irony.
If the South African leaders were not like drunken idiots, they would have known the long term implications of these xenophobic attacks.
SOUTH AFRICAN ACTION CONSEQUENCES
One, if South Africa will not be able to attract sufficient black immigrants it would need to soften white domination of their economy and their professional class.
Second, it will trigger return hatred of South Africans in other African countries, thus denying the South African economy the opportunity to expand into markets within the continent.
The evils of xenophobic violence in South Africa was mildly revealed yesterday when Nigerians retaliated by attacking and looting South African businesses in Nigeria, often their biggest markets in the world.
That hopefully will send a message to South Africa.
No group will fold their arms and watch their kid and kin slaughtered senselessly with impunity.
And as the South African police are too nice to those killing Nigerians, let Nigerian police borrow that gentle disposition when dealing with Nigerians attacking South African businesses.
Despite all this, the situation is not out of control yet.
The two governments should double their efforts, the emphasis should not be on how to avenge the Nigerians killed, rather, it should be on how to protect thousands of Nigerians still in South Africa, who need to remain in that country.
Also, since not every African country has the clout as Nigeria, it will be proper for Nigeria’s effort to aim to end xenophobia against all Africans in South Africa.
There must be an end to these spates of violence.
The process will not be complete unless there is justice for the victims of the past and present attacks and punishment for people known to be involved in the attacks.
For those, whose shops were looted or who lost their relatives in these attacks, there should be adequate compensation to be paid by South African government.
Both governments must understand that both the xenophobic violence in South Africa and retaliatory violence reported in Nigeria are as a result of government failure to act preemptively.
Chikwado blind poet
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