Editorial Comment

SA must end barbarism

WHAT a dark weekend it is in southern Africa! Zimbabwean Elvis Nyathi, 43, was snatched from his shack, brutally beaten up, stoned and burnt to death in Diepsloot in South Africa last Wednesday.

It was a pure act of Afrophobia and criminality which some are trying to sanitise as vigilantism. What we have seen is a group of Afrophobes, taking the law into their own hands and engaging in a job authorities ought to be doing.

That things are going west instead of east in South Africa should not be blamed on other foreign nationals. That the economy is shrinking and less employment opportunities cannot be blamed on foreigners.

The South Africans are directing their anger on the wrong group. That death of Nyathi has not created employment for anyone there nor has it improved the life of anyone of the thug grouping by the name Dudula Movement. What is more saddening is how a South African was then recorded spewing hate, particularly towards Zimbabweans, even the documented ones.

 This is clearly not vigilantism, but hate crime towards Zimbabweans because they are Zimbabweans and not that they are undocumented. And how Zimbabweans have become the most hated group of people in South Africa among several other migrants boggles the mind.

Things have not been well economically in this country for the past two decades as people seek refuge in neighbouring countries. There are Zimbabweans in Botswana, Malawi, Zambia, Mozambique and several other countries, but never have there been such reports of barbaric acts.

South Africa on the other hand has become a breeding ground for xenophobia and African leaders should take a stance on this. Right thinking Africans know this is a criminal Afrophobic act which should be condemned.

South Africans sought refuge in other countries during apartheid and with how things are unfolding there, it would not be surprising that sooner or later they will be economic refugees in other countries.

With Africa Day looming, this is something that all leaders should be reflecting on. If this is not a trigger for serious talk about migration in this part of the world, then what is? Sadc and African Union should not be just groupings of old people protecting their thrones against opposition parties, but discussing how to better the lives of their citizens.

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