- May 8, 2011
Oh, the iron-knee ...
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ANC’s denial of xenophobia is irresponsible and prevents solutions from being found
The governing party has apparently learnt very little from the 2008 attacks
What is it with the governing ANC and its repeated denials of obvious xenophobia?
I know of no critic who has directly accused the ANC or its government of being xenophobic as a party, though it has failed to act decisively when leading figures, such as King Goodwill Zwelithini and individual ANC leaders, have made utterances that could be interpreted as xenophobic.
Similarly, media coverage of the issue does not generally point fingers directly at government. So why are the government and party leaders so defensive when the question of xenophobia is raised?
By denying that the problem exists the ANC fails repeatedly to acknowledge and respond to the serious underlying socioeconomic crisis in our society, which gives rise to xenophobia among black people in particular, especially those who are most economically vulnerable.
More importantly, by denying its existence the ANC abdicates responsibility for finding solutions.
Ebrahim Harvey is a former Cosatu trade unionist, political writer and author
South Africa: Failing asylum system is exacerbating xenophobia
Despite its strong legal and human rights framework on refugees and asylum seekers’ rights, South Africa’s asylum management system is failing, leaving hundreds of thousands of applicants without proper documentation and exacerbating xenophobia in the country, according to a report – Living in Limbo: Rights of Asylum Seekers Denied – released by Amnesty International South Africa today.
“The current asylum management process system is failing everyone. In persisting with a broken system that leaves those trying to claim asylum undocumented and in limbo, the government is causing a divide and inflaming tensions between South African citizens and fellow Africans living in the country,” said Shenilla Mohamed, Executive Director of Amnesty International South Africa.
“Instead of acknowledging its failures, the government is perpetuating the view that the ongoing high demand by people trying to seek asylum at refugee reception offices stems from the abuse of the system by economic migrants. This has given rise to a toxic anti-asylum seeker narrative that is pushed by those in authority."
Black lives need to matter in South Africa too, Mashaba tells ANC
Last night I watched Jessie Duarte announcing the ANC’s call for all South Africans to support the Black Lives Matter campaign in solidarity with the people of the US and George Floyd.
When I was campaigning in the run-up to the 2016 local government elections, I remember asking myself what poor black people did to the ANC to deserve the treatment that has been meted out to them. This is why I find the ANC’s response to the Black Lives Matter campaign to be the worst form of hypocrisy.
Let me be clear, the movement that has formed around George Floyd’s death should be supported, and it is being supported. The response by US citizens and people around the globe has been unprecedented.
The question that emerges from this is; why are South Africans being called upon by our government to support a movement on the other side of the world, when this same government of ours has killed poor black people with callous disregard for decades?
Where is our sense of community and justice and where is our resolve to remove any government that tramples upon our far harder won freedoms? One thing we should have learnt by now is that the world is not going to care, when we ourselves demonstrate no sense of outrage.
When the HIV/AIDs denialism cost the premature lives of an estimated 330 000 South Africans, most of whom were poor and black.
While we were experimenting with beetroot and garlic, the world watched in horror as HIV infected people were dying at truly frightening rates. The world cared more about this issue than our own government, and one might say demonstrated greater outrage than we did.
When Andries Tatane was part of a crowd of 4000 people marching to the Ficksburg Municipality in the Free State to protest poor service delivery in 2011, he was shot twice at point blank range with rubber bullets and beaten. He died 20 minutes later.
The outrage from South Africans was short-lived, and the ANC of the day was muted in their outrage of another poor black South African dying at their hands.
When the police opened fire on striking mine workers in Marikana killing 34 of them, many with wounds reflecting someone shot in the back while fleeing, we were outraged as a country. Our government even feigned outrage but if you want to assess their real feelings of sorrow, look no further than the process that it has taken to implement rulings to compensate the families of those who were gunned down.
We will never truly know the real story behind the interests in that mine, and how the orders came down to open fire from the same ANC government that is now asking South Africans to unite behind Black Lives Matter.
When the Gauteng Provincial Government, in a cost saving exercise that never extended to their own largess, moved vulnerable patients in 2014 to facilities that could not adequately take care of them. An unthinkable 143 people died the most terrible deaths, including starvation. It took four years for the families to receive compensation and South Africans were outraged, but that too subsided with time as more tragedies at the hands of our government came to bear.
In 2016, when the Lily Mine collapsed in Mpumalanga and buried alive 3 miners, our government said that the container could not be retrieved. Our same government spent millions sending its Mine Rescue division to Chile in 2010 to be involved in an international rescue operation for the Chilean Miners. Now, today, bidders for the Lily Mine are offering to retrieve the container, a feat that our government said could not be achieved.
In most recent times, 11 South Africans have died at the hands of law enforcement agencies and the SANDF from the policing of the lockdown regulations, the most well-known of which is Collins Khosa from Alexandra township. Our government has demonstrated no concern for these deaths, and little remorse to the families. These were people who were trying to survive under difficult circumstances of the lockdown.
The ANC of today that is asking us to join the Americans in solidarity with George Floyd and the Black Lives Matter campaign, is the same ANC that has demonstrated time and time again that in South Africa, too often black lives don’t matter.
My difficulty is not that the black lives matter campaign is not important. It is, now more than ever. My issue is that our own government has shown nothing but brutal disregard for the lives of poor black South Africans.
I find it insulting to be told by the ANC that this is a cause that we should unite around when it is the ANC that has perpetrated abuses against black people in South Africa at unprecedented scales.
I call upon the ANC and President Ramaphosa to organise the planned launch of Black Friday around the callous disregard for the value of South African lives, and especially those of poor black South Africans.
I will leave you with this thought: What would have happened in America if just one of Marikana, Life Esidimeni, HIV/AIDs denialism or Lily Mine had happened to their people?
* Herman Mashaba is the founder of the People's Dialogue and former mayor of the City of Johannesburg.
** The views expressed herein are not necessarily those of Independent Media.
Do black people have a license to kill without consequences? Over 300,00 died as a result of Dr Beetroot and Thabo's "policies", no consequences. So you could be right. Black lives, brown lives, yellow lives, white lives, their rights violated, lives taken. By black people, no remorse, no regret, no consequences.I do not want to draw any colour in this discussion but as long nobody is convicted for Life Esidimeni tragedy, one of greatest human rights violations in recent years we can not take this government seriously in protecting any lives (except politically connected ones).
144 people were killed in most brutal way by starvation and nobody was convicted.
Hope auntie Jessie will explain this.The question that emerges from this is; why are South Africans being called upon by our government to support a movement on the other side of the world, when this same government of ours has killed poor black people with callous disregard for decades?
“Now is the time for sober assessment of a resilient white supremacy in our country, in the US and globally. We need to reckon with the fact that structural and other forms of violence will provoke violence. And we must face the reality that the ravages of COVID-19 will further entrench structural violence unless we fundamentally restructure our societies. It is time to apply our minds to this challenge. Black lives do matter.”
https://www.hrw.org/world-report/2019/country-chapters/south-africa ?To quote the ANC's statement,
Apartheid geography, can anyone here apply a synonym?
I like how they state us standing up to be counted, shouldn't we add ourselves? Anyway, institutionalised racism here is clearly aimed at the white minority. There are other points I would critique, but I may be seen a perpetrator since that is what they are hinting at.
I would wish, however, to talk about xenophobia.
No sweat, the baas is shocked.
President Cyril Ramaphosa has spoken out about the death of Alexandra resident Collins Khosa, who died after an altercation with members of the SANDF and the JMPD, as well as 10 other people allegedly killed by law enforcement authorities.www.iol.co.za
We can sort this out later, when everyone has forgotten about it.