Michael Trapido
Michael Trapido

Why do blacks hate blacks? SA a label manufacturer!

The more I read about the xenophobia issue, the more I realise why the rainbow nation is experiencing teething problems. We are so busy putting labels on things that we miss the real issues.

“Xenophobia”, “racism” and “criminals” abound in every article we see, but very few actually deal with the problems of Alexandra, Soweto and Diepsloot.

Why is it that the whites, who fought the two biggest wars in history and gassed six million innocents of their fellow race, are not asked why whites hate whites? Because in each case the real debates revolve around the reasons why those wars were fought.

The question I’ve posed in the heading is not being put by white journalists and commentators but rather their black counterparts and letter writers to the various newspapers and websites. Whites wouldn’t dare pose this one.

The truth is that, like every race, blacks don’t hate blacks for being black but have some other issue that is causing the friction. The people of Alexandra don’t hate the immigrants because they are black. Whoever came up with that garbage knows absolutely nothing about the situation. They resent immigrants whom they perceive to be committing crime and taking their houses and jobs — nothing more and nothing less.

Of course I’ve read the geniuses who claim that white immigrants are regarded as wonderful and loved by all, while blacks are pilloried, reviled and abused because they are black. Whoever came up with this cock-custard I can’t say, but if you get it from a newspaper, cancel your subscription immediately.

Firstly, the residents of Alexandra and the like are not competing with those white immigrants for resources.

Secondly, many of our white tourists and immigrants have been hijacked, robbed, raped and even killed. This is primarily down to the fact that the crime rate in this country is high and whites are believed to be affluent. Robbers believe the prospects of a successful haul are increased with white victims. Ask me — I’m a criminal lawyer.

The fact that by far the majority of victims of crime are black — including the crimes above — is down to demographics.

Thirdly, white immigrants are not thrust upon the residents of Sandton or Mondeor in the same way that the Zimbabweans and Mozambicans are in the case of Alexandra and Diepsloot.

The reasons are endless, but the common denominator is that it has nothing to do with blacks hating blacks for being black and everything to do with socio-economic factors on the ground. If you knock this one down to blacks hating blacks, you are playing into the hands of those who wish to duck responsibility for our immigration laws, possibly corrupt local authorities and a failure to deal with poverty.

Do not let local or government politicians use labels to avoid dealing with the problems of these communities — blacks do not hate blacks for being black. They fear or have contempt for foreigners based on issues that have absolutely nothing to do with skin colour. The government and local authorities must now start dealing with the problems and tell the label manufacturer to take a holiday.

Let’s widen the argument a bit: How often do we hear about what blacks have done to blacks in Uganda, Kenya, Zimbabwe and so on and so vomit? The same “authorities” conveniently forget the world wars, Bosnia, Kosovo, Ireland and many more that bring whites into conflict with whites.

Where blacks do go horribly wrong is that they forget to point out that the vast and overwhelming percentage of those populations is black. For example, if (when there was still conflict) a Catholic was looking to bomb a Protestant pub in Northern Ireland, what were the chances of the victims being black? Virtually nil unless it was the odd second-generation immigrant or tourist in for a pint.

So if there is a civil war in Kenya, of course the participants are black. Yes, we can put it down to tribalism, as was also the case in Rwanda, but is that any different to Catholics and Protestants? Does the latter offend our sensibilities less because the words “tribalism” and “racism” are left out? If they do, we need help.

By focusing on the word “black” in African conflicts or even issues like xenophobia, we are missing the point completely. We also afford the opportunists of Africa a gap that they use against the very people they are purporting to help.

Take the examples of Rwanda and Zimbabwe. In the case of the former, Bill Clinton — then president of the United States — knew what was going on in terms of the genocide but ducked the issue. Uppermost in most European and American minds in cases relating to Africa is concerns about being styled colonialist or racist. Here, Rwandans were massacred until the planet could just not stomach it any more.

Perhaps it is time for the United Nations to point out to African leaders that if they abuse the term “racism” to keep the world at bay so they can do what they like to their populations, it will be deemed a crime against humanity in itself.

Would anyone dare suggest that the reason why the Tutsis and Hutus began killing each other was because they hated the fact that the other was black? Yet wars that affected Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi and Congo burned long and hard and the death toll was unbelievable. The wars were about dominance and had nothing to do with hatred of the skin colour of opponents. The UN, Europe and the US must learn to laugh off guilt tripping by local opportunists and act immediately where large-scale genocide or humanitarian disasters threaten.

The hell with claims of racism and imperialism.

Zimbabwe is another excellent example. Because the whites are marginalised, Mugabe is calling the struggle anti-colonialism — strange, that, when there seem to be an awful lot of Chinese arms and military about. Of course he also labels anyone who won’t vote for him as a counter-revolutionary. I’ll leave the answer to Pallo Jordan in this fabulous article on Sunday.

The issue is not Mugabe hating blacks, I’ll spare him that much. He hates anyone who wants to take power away from him, just like many, many white politicians hate being dispossessed. What he has done, primarily to blacks, is as a result of his refusal to give up his toy.

The lesson we as Africans need to learn is that by focusing on the “black question” we blur the real issues. This gives people like those running the councils in Alexandra a gap because everyone is looking at the labels and nobody is looking at the issues.

The residents — both local and immigrants — are thereafter shunted together without any regard for what caused divisions in the first place.

And that, quite frankly, is bullshit!

  • Jerry

    Go and read Clay’s comment (12;26) about South Africans allways blaming someone or something else.You so fall into that category.

  • Obert Mathivha

    Sporadic xenophobic attacks in South Africa a symbolic gesture for disparities between the poor and the rich

    By Obert Mathivha

    As we are still nursing the pain of Africans biting and killing each other in Kenya and Zimbabwe respectively, the same Africans are now attacking each other in the south part of Africa. Our very own people are doing it for the countless time again. This is a symbolic gesture that results out of the state of service delivery in our country and beyond. The state of service delivery in our country is below average. The concept of service delivery is yet to find a permanent place of stay within our bloods and veins. We must quickly find means and ways through which the referred concept is to flourish within our government systems. This should involve all public servants, politicians included.

    Frankly speaking, the prevailing xenophobic atmosphere in some quotas of our society is indeed missing the point. This is worrying – particularly so because of the fact that it is misguided and therefore missing the real target. I shall illustrate here below as to where I think the real challenges and real target are.


    As we are approach this dilemmatic posture, we should be able to appeal to all senses to refrain from petty politicking and avoid deepening further confusion by misinterpreting (sometimes deliberate) actual motivations this fast developing incidents. It should not be about Who might be behind all these, rather What fundamentally lies under it. Neither should it be about ‘we have seen them chanting m’shini wam, all of a sudden two people were dawn’, rather what informs this mushrooming xenophobic violence.

    It will be vital to first acknowledge that these incidents go far beyond instigative cause by an individual or group of individuals. It goes beyond a song and its association. It goes beyond a particular location where it is currently experienced and noticed. It goes beyond the capacity of law enforcement agents and a panel to deal with it. It is about the entrenched socio-economic legacy of the past and a failed collective responsibility to tackle it effectively. There is no third force here – only harsh material realities relating to growing disparities between the poor and the rich. People are poor, hungry and desperate. They just can’t be rational anymore. Lets be brave enough to face this painful realities – for it does not help to be denialists!

    The values of the Constitutional Democracy
    The South African society must aspire to score high in terms of embracing the values and norms enshrined in our Constitutional Document. Often time the poor and the marginalized segments of our population hardly know about various values and socio-economic rights and responsibilities that come with democratic freedom. I shall here below write to remind ourselves about this rights and the related role of the state to materialize this rights and responsibilities.
    Our Constitution provides as follows with regard to Fundamental Human Rights and the role of the State:
    Section 7
    1. This Bill of Rights is a cornerstone of democracy in South Africa. It enshrines the rights of all people in our country and affirms the democratic values of human dignity, equality and freedom.
    2. The state must respect, protect, promote and fulfill the rights in the Bill of Rights.
    To make complete sense, Section 7 should be read together with the Constitutional Preamble, Sections 1, 2, 8 – 12, 20, 24, 25(5), 27, 28(1), 29, 32 and 36 of the South African Constitution respectively. The whole doctrine of Socio-economic Rights as enshrined in the Bill of Rights must be given full meaning and practicality.

    We should all read to reaffirm our firm belief that our transition from the regrettable past into Constitutional Democracy was not an act of coincidence. Rather it was indeed a dream come true from many years of a protracted struggle by African people to achieve a free South Africa and Africa in general!

    One should think that, no matter how well motivated it might appear to be, the attacks on the persons of immigrants in South Africa is surely a wrong approach. In addition to verbally condemning this repressive conduct, it should be found appropriate to start by asking why we get Africans in South Africa targeting each other. Is it normal or abnormal conditions are trying hard to normalize such a horrendous conduct?

    At the recent past, we have witnessed pockets of mass demonstrations, violence, and shocking incidents. It all started with the border disputes in Bushbackridge. We have witnessed the people of Khutsong boycotting services and barricading streets under the ‘new regionalist struggle’ relating to border disputes. Not so long after this, an incident involving a school boy stabbing to death his fellow student happened, triggering public dismay and shock among all South Africans. This was followed by Skielek boy randomly opening fire against the innocent lives of targeted black people, further followed by white Afrikaner boys subjecting elderly black parents to a urinated food, it was then followed by Cosatu-led mass boycott against price fixing, electricity hike, escalating food prices, this was recently followed by mass attack targeted against fellow African foreign nationals who are apparently widely viewed as negating factors in the South African economy. In this regard we separately witnessed the mob-driven xenophobic attacks against foreign nationals in Atredgeville, Alexander, Diepsloot, Thokoza, Thembisa and of late Cleveland respectively.

    The reality we need to firstly acknowledge here is that each of the mentioned incidents cannot be treated in isolation.

    All these are remnants of a sick society that developed over many years of colonialism and apartheid – a society unconscious of the new common value system it is expected to embrace and promote. A society full of disparities and inequalities, of extensive poverty, of joblessness and homelessness, of criminals, and society whose authority and direction is at times lacking.

    Early Warning Systems
    In a society as ours, the authority cannot afford to be caught wondering along side those it purports to lead as to why people react in a certain fashion – otherwise someone is neglecting his duties and that could be extremely rebounding against us. The point here is that government must not only play a reactionary role to incidents of violence, particularly ethnic related violence, rather a pro-active and preventive role as is expected to know better than anybody else through its early warning systems. This is the only way government can maintain the confidence of its citizens. It is within this context that I submit to say when the ground is silence, it does not mean all is fine with it – the time for volcanic eruption may be very much living with us!

    Those in authority should know better that the more people start feeling neglected and hopeless about their own collective future, the more disloyal and hostile they become towards the system and unfortunately certain people becomes unnecessary causalities as in the case under consideration. The current prevailing xenophobic attacks in Gauteng are a result of failure to manage (both politically & administratively), in one hand the relationship between government and its desperate citizens, particularly from disadvantaged communities. On the other hand, the incidents exposes the weaknesses embedded in our immigration control systems in that they seem to be failing to effectively manage the high volume of immigration into south of Africa due to political and economic reasons.

    The 2010 Soccer World Cup and the friendly democratic environment continue to attract many immigrants from all over the world by day. All these challenges simply require visionary leadership at all spheres of society. It should be all about management of challenges and implementation of preventive strategies that we would be able to win the war against factors leading to civil unrest such as poor service delivery, xenophobia, ethnic hatred and conflicts, moral decay, etc.

    We must be able to vigilantly combat and prevent the creation of an environment which in turn becomes a breeding ground for senseless civil unrest.

    Assuming full responsibility
    Government and the people of South Africa must prominently continue to place the agenda to defeat poverty high in their own formulation of priority lists. This should happen in reality and not just in paper. All Africans (all human race included) in South Africa must radically and consistently be taught how to commonly co-exist in an environment filled with peace, hope and prosperity. This should be learned as the only ultimate truth that is to be with us for eternity.

    As the developing nations of Africa, we need to start to radically remove elements of intolerance among our people despite the privileged or underprivileged backgrounds that we are respectively coming from. From the early to medium ages, educating our youth to embrace the constitutional value system we have hardly attained with the 1994 democratic breakthrough must be intensified. South Africa needs to quickly intensify its effort to educate its citizens to become caring and prosperous in their wider diversity.

    In this regard one should salute the long overdue decision by the National Department of Education to introduce the National Pledge for young learners at an early age. Any attempt by our government to educate its citizens about the constitutional value system should be seen as the first step towards getting everything else right.

    It is somehow painful to recall that the move by the Education Department was met with a very shocking and shameful attempt by political parties of doom to prevent this natural step forward. Their advanced doomed argument that this initiative will “indoctrinate our children” was unfortunately and sometimes deliberate, being raised out of positive context. This demonstrates the most backward and resistant behavior that is yet to find peace with the living reality that South Africa is a home for all and is to be guided into the future by the constitutional torch of prosperity. Their argument exposes them as bitter pessimists whose attempt to block inculcation of constitutional values among our children clearly demonstrate that they are ready to defy the constitutional imperatives in favor of preserving their own isolated and ill-acquired socio-economic status. These are fanatic elements whose wild dreams still present a possibility of ‘their South Africa’ and South Africa of everyone else. We must reject their agenda!

    As the loyal citizens of the country, we hold every right to be well informed and served about the values we are expected to uphold in the Constitutional Democracy. Equally, the people have a right to be consistently reminded that better life for all does not have to be only a mere expectation, but about information sharing and active participation in all spheres of the life and destination of our country. The current beleaguered and dented SABC must be in the centre of the struggle to fully inform our people about the values, services and responsibilities that come with our democratic freedom. In adopting this approach, we should be clear in our belief that targeting fellow Africans does not bring us freedom to a better life – but actually holds us ten times back!

    Forward thinking and planning

    In order to avoid running a risk of evolving into a recycled misguided ethnic violence within and amongst fellow Africans, we must be determined through viable strategies to put an end to this valueless and uncaring society emerging within our midst.

    This potentially dangerous situation must be despised at and prevented against at any cost. Concurrently an interest should be found among various stakeholders (particularly governmental institutions) to urgently respond to the socio-economic conditions currently prevailing in our society, particularly amongst the disadvantaged communities.

    It is high time that we knock sense in the urgent need to distribute the message that neither beating nor hackling each other is likely to resolve any of the problems we are facing. Only government should be able to explain to its loyal voting citizens why does it seem that the promise for better life is for ever an escaping reality.

    The government should therefore be able to speedily identify challenges and constrains that our people are faced with daily. We should be able to respond by developing appropriate practical approaches to resolve them. Should it be that people lack information as to how to change their life for better in the so called open economy, it be found proper to close the information gap. This should obviously be followed by crafting logical and implementable programmes that can speedily bear practical meaning to millions lives of the suffering people in our country.

    In the same vain, let me place it to you that the government seems to have failed to mobilize an acceptable number of citizens that has basic conscious capacity to actively participate in the daily running of programmes that are aimed at transforming their lives for better. Here we must agree to accept the fact that it is one thing to boast about ‘good’ strategies being in place but another to explain whether people understand how to productively relate to the set up for their own self-empowerment and development of the country as a whole.

    It would seem obvious to me that if you are not well informed about it, you will most certainly be left behind in terms of benefiting from it. Information is power through which our government can empower our people to take charge of their lives and their communities. Until or unless we empower our people with information about the value system and developmental path we are pursuing, so shall always be anger and frustrations, especially among the disadvantaged communities as more and more people get lost along the way in the so-called fast growing economy. In this regard, one can’t wait to see the important Polokwane decision that the branches of the ANC are to be mobilized to practically spearhead the fight against poverty, crime and others social ills so as to filter the struggle dawn where the suffering masses are.

    Towards this end, I wish to present that the entire government, not only the Department of Home Affairs and law enforcements agents, must therefore take a full responsibility to strengthen existing empowerment strategies and intensify the struggle to optimize the level of service delivery within the entire public service administration. The Batho Pele values must take precedence and be able to shine prominently in all services being rendered by each and every Public Service Servants. All governmental Departments must be able to talk and compliment each other in the true sense of the word. Otherwise South Africa and Africa will always be plagued with civil unrest targeted at the wrong people and direction. Time is now to act!

  • Might Pissed

    Excellent article but writer forgot to mention that the government sowed the seeds and fanned the flames of this conflict long ago. Just a few months ago Home Affairs Parliamentary committee made a finding that foreigners were being treated “like animals” but that did not stir the Home Affairs behemoth to clean up its mess. A few months later, a Safety Minister condoned lawless violence by declaring that police should shoot first and ask questions later. That for the same police who invaded a church sanctuary and dragged foreign women and children into the streets amidst accusations that they were “criminals”. Moral of the story- government sets the moral tone by cheapening lives of immigrants then the rest of society follows by going on xenophobic rampage. And so the story goes. Nice work Susan Shabangu and all the xenophobes out there!

  • davef

    Pogroms. Sorry Amused Reader, I normally find myself in broad agreement with what you say (and share your frustration about uplift). But the barbaric behaviour is typical of pogroms – which seem to be the same in Rwanda against Tutsis as they were in Russia against Jews, or Romania against Gypsies or China against Vietnamese. Part of the psycology of the mob seems to be that the ‘other’ must be treated as less than human. On the positive side, it’s been getting rarer in the West over the years. Perhaps a product of time and education. We can hope…
    Pogroms are typically and have always been a tool of the ruling classes. They are a displacement activity “Blame them. The jews take the jobs. The gypsies steal. The tutsis get the best jobs… etc.” I will grant that I doubt the ANC realised quite how dry the tinder was. The ruling classes are doing very well for themselves. They are isolated from the desperation. They HAVE been guilty of years and years of displacement – blaming very nearly anyone else except themselves – the ones with the power and responsibility – for the fact that SA has stagnated in employment terms, and worsened in education, and failed to raise the standard of living in the way they promised.
    Pogroms typically allow a blood-sop rather than dealing with the problem, and let the ruling classes – who should bear the brunt of this rage – continue on their merry way. The trouble with Pogroms is when they run out of one target, they start on the next minority – anyone who can be defined as different.
    Not good times.
    The right target for this rage should be the people in power. If it infuriates you – and you don’t feel you can vote for the policy – not skin colour or history – of another party, then vote against. Vote for any another party. The Soccer Party for all I care. But do let the government know that you are disappointed. That way they MAY change the things they do. If you give them that vote, or boycott, nothing changes.

  • Rory Short

    There is a rightful way, a correct way, a moral way, a principled way, for any person performing a job to execute that job and this ranges from the job of t6he president of a country to the lowliest labourer in that country.

    The term for this framework within which a job should be done if it is to be done correctly is referred to, in Sanskrit, as the Dharma of that job.

    Unfortunately Mbeki and many of those whom he has appointed under him to serve the people have not been fufilling the Dharma of their jobs.

    There is a negative impact on others in society when the lowliest of workers does not fulfil the Dharma of his or her allocated job. The size of the negative impact increases steadily however the higher up the social scale you climb until at the top you reach the presidency and maximum impact.

    A president not fulfilling the Dharma of his presidential position eventually corrupts the whole of society. The so called xenophobic violence that we are now experiencing is but one of the symptomatic consequences of the ever increasing negative consequences of Mbeki’s and many of his ministers non-fulfilment of the Dharma of their positions.

    Hopefully whoever replaces Mbeki will fulfil the Dharama of the presidency and will expect the same from those that he appoints under him. Then we can begin to move forward as a people once again.

  • CB

    “Amused Reader” hits the nail on the head. ‘Nuff said.

  • Russel

    Sort out South Africa’s problems with crime and the people will not have a reason to hate “the other”.

  • tak5

    how did you get norminated to host the world cup?? its a question which need some answers from fifa as soon as posible.

  • Prof. Joe Manyoni

    Traps, as usual, you’ve thrown red meat at the lions. The sad thing about a number of reader responses is that some appear not to have read your argument carefully but rush to judgement as it were. You are NOT saying “blacks hate blacks” merely for being black. Your title-question is a poser to trigger the analysis you are making. Why are your critics ignoring all the pertinent examples you make about the European situations? That’s the crux of the article. If it’s not economics, it’s politics. Conflicts do not occur in a vacuum.
    For example ‘Cool Down’ misses the point by attributing the conflict to “tribalism”; it makes no sense. Similarly ‘Oom Koos, while I share his disgust and horror of the savage attack on his maid, he confuses this CRIMINALITY with the issue of ‘xenophobia’ the article is discussing. The current attacks directed at ‘illegal immigrants’ have specific economical and social causes as Traps rightly points out, the compettiion is between locals and these ‘uitlanders’ who happen to be black. Alisdair Budd, ‘Z’, Anonymous and others have got it right on because they have actually taken into account the telling European examples you bring to bear on your analysis. Xenophobia alone is not sufficient to explain these attacks; they cannot and should not be separated from the realism of the situation on the ground. Some of these critics should read up on the current anti- Roma [Gypsy] round up and attacks in Italy. The issue there is the same: economic competition at the lower levels and crime against everybody.
    Accusing an analyst of ivory tower liberalism is a bit disingenuous; it’s those critics who fail to come down to the ground to examine the situation in which these confrontations take place. This is not a uniquely South African phenomenon; though it is exacerbated by the unique S.A. demographic residential patterns. Stepping out of the parochial box may help somewhat.
    Commendable article.

    Joe Manyoni, Canada.

  • Richard

    The latest of the many trevails occurring in South Africa (Aids, Crime, Corruption, Immigration, Eskom, ad nausium) points out once again that the current political leadership is completely, totally and disgracefully inept.

    The current choas is the result of the ANC’s total lack of leadership in resolving the issue of illegal immigration. Did anyone expect any other outcome? When you have 25% unemployment and migrants pouring into your country how could you expect otherwise?

    The ANC will not wake up, will not change, will NOT provide the leadership that South Africans deserve until the PEOPLE wake up and demand accountability and if necessary, change in leadership.

    South Africa has a tyrant to the north in Mugabe. In Zimbabwe as in South Africa, nothing will change until the people take back their countries.

  • Jon

    @African — which is precisely why Eugene de Kock IS currently behind bars and will be there for a very long time.

    But those laughing black people who watched other black people burning are NOT behind bars for their callous savagery. They’re not even up on charges.

    Spot the difference now?

  • http://- Anton

    I saw some genius on SABC saying that the violence was caused by people becoming embittered by the large wealth gap between rich and poor. I suppose that he never noticed that the violence is poor on poor and that nobody is justified to act out his savage jealousies just because he is poor. This is a completely diabolical moral justification for savagery thats cause is naked covetousness in its most base form and probably one of the base reasons that Africa never prospers. Africa can never prosper until it learns to celebrate the most talented and entrepreneurial members of its society. In fact general African cultures are of the kind that try to level any individual successes away, down into the mediocre and away from the sublime and to prevent any revelation of personal inadequacies. If Africa cannot obey the 10th commandment : “Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s house, thou shalt not covet thy neighbor’s wife, nor his manservant, nor his maidservant, nor his ox, nor his ass, nor any thing that is thy neighbor’s ” then they will always be poor. All perpetually poor societies have one thing in common, they remain very covetous. Some people who are not covetous do sometimes go through lean times but they usually bounce back again. Unless Africa recognizes that this is a sin against God and take ownership of it to repentance, I see no hope for Africa. God’s laws are very practical !

  • mundundu

    when mexico got the olympics and the world cup, they culled the people in shantytowns. brazil has done the same thing during the pan american games, and will probably do it again before their world cup — they have roughly the same demographics as south africa, with matching income distribution. [south africa is much more like a latin american country than an african one, by most societal measures]

    i’m not going to tell the government to go into the townships and shoot people — it’s wrong, and they won’t do it. but the lack of fear of true government or police reprisals is something that feeds into this.

    and to the people who think that civil wars only occur in africa need to look at why mexico got the world cup twice in 16 years. [see, in 1970, it was supposed to have gone to colombia. however, the colombian government had to choose between the world cup and the civil war. they chcse the civil war. it’s not over yet.]

    most of latin america is less than 15 years out of war or war-like states of emergency. and with the exception of argentina’s “dirty war” and the pinochet regime in chile, most of the insurrections have a lot to do with the non-white masses being fed up with their treatment by the white elite, ie the government.

    should i call you kevin james now?

  • mundundu

    re: the laughing cop.

    he doesn’t look like he’s laughing to me. i thought about my first reaction when i saw the picture of the guy burning and sure enough my teeth were out.

    here’s a neat trick. take a picture of yourself wincing, as if you’re in pain.

  • Hein

    If your parents, school teachers, youth leaders and political leaders teach you to hate, well, that is what you end up doing. It will take a miracle to change this hate-racism-infested people. But they say we don’t understand becuase we are white, but let us tell you, we had enough Stalins,Hitlers and Verwoerds to learn from, and to know what NOT to do. My question is, who are you blacks taking your lessons from? Mugabe, Idi Amin?, and when will you learn that only if EVERYBODY wins, everybody wins. If some lose out or are suppresed, EVERYBODY LOSES.

  • Hein

    @ Sbu.Po et al:White South Africa and the rest of the world can think whatever nonsense they want to think, it is of no use to us anyway.
    Do you see the problem?

  • jamie

    This latest conflict is a consequence of political idealism. Our politicians are so obsessed with human rights, dignity for all, etc. that they forget that their decision making must be founded with a strong practical basis. Obviously, allowing millions of Zimbabweans to come to South Africa is going to create an unstable situation, particularly, in the poorer communities. Out of sheer practicality, the government must control the influx of foreigners into the country so that immigration can occur at a more measured and controlled rate.

  • Michael Trapido

    Last night I appeared as a pundit on Xenophobia on the BBC’s “Have your say” : While I expected a rough ride for defending Alexandra, Diepsloot etc I was given a relatively fair hearing by the rest.

    Where I was however shocked was the massive response to claims that South Africans are snobs who turn their noses up at jobs that they believe are beneath them.

    They all phoned in to say that South Africans only want prestigous jobs.

    South Africans have not integrated into Africa that we have remained seperate.

    That we are ungrateful for what Africa did for us.

    (And some very unkind remarks about Derby County)

    I must say that attitudes did change when I said that people must understand that the same poor communities who bore the brunt of apartheid are now, again, bearing the brunt of immigration policies.

    That the government has to talk to communities urgently.

    I also condemned xenophobia in no uncertain terms.

  • Michael Trapido

    Karima Brown of Business Day – Xenophobia


    A well reasoned analysis

  • Michael Trapido

    Zim Herald – Govt mouthpiece claims the xenophobia is all an MDC plot to get people home to vote :


    Apparently everything on the planet right now is an MDC plot.

  • Len van der Merwe

    I am not one to march, toyi-toyi or even do rallies. However, I think the only way as South Africans can show our revulsion at this repugnant neanderthal behaviour is to hold hands, with the foreigners and show them that we still care, despite the failures of several departments in our country.
    When Germany was under the grip of skinheads, Germans marched to show solidarity with the targetted groups and I think as South Africans we need a similar action to salvage the image of this country both in Africa and elsewhere.
    It might not mean much, but simply walking outside of your work place during lunch and holding hands with other fellow human beings in solidarity with humanity, we can achieve more. We can show the rest of the world that we abhore violence and that the actions of these thugs does not represent who we are.
    We have lost that humanity to be side with the underdog. We prefer to heap blame on one person or one group, but this is our chance to say “enough is enough, will will not tolerate this sort of hatred in our country”
    All it will take is all South Africans across the country and the world to go out into the streets at 12pm on Friday and form a chain holding hands. No need to march, simply stand in your street with your colleagues and form a chain and support humanity in China, Burma, Zimbabwe, Iraq, Afghanistan, etc.
    Those who are driving, can hoot at Midday on Friday again in support of humanity especially our own crisis.
    Bitching and moaning will achieve something, but millions of South Africans holding hand shows only one thing, not all south africans are criminally minded thugs.
    Umntu ngumntu ngabantu

  • Len van der Merwe

    With due respect, Traps, the Herald story is not really a story, rather a letter written by a reader of the newspaper. It is not their opinion nor is it an official opinion.
    We do allow people to have their opinions without claiming that come from official circles. Let us criticise and comment or even lampoon Zimbabwe, but let us recognise letters to the editor.

  • Yam

    The only real people to blame here are the SA government for not addressing the illegal immigrant and refugee problem correctly years ago. When people started asking where the refugee camps and medical care were for desperate Zim refugees our illustrious Home Office Minister told us that ‘the communities must take them in’. I hope she loses her job now over those statements because the deaths of these people are on her head! It has been a massive human rights violation from start to finish.

    The violence and looting that has taken place recently can be attributed to common opportunistic criminals. By blaming the foreigners they see fit to rape and pillage, and probably believe that they are justified in their actions. We should not tolerate this behaviour from anyone for any reason. Doing so will just lead to further mob hysteria and anarchy.

    And lastly, just as a comment on South African personality traits – we do all in general, both black and white, generalise too easily and seem to have an innate fear of the ‘other’. Everything is always about race. An employee of mine told me how people in her township doubted that she was Xhosa simply because she spoke to and was kind to foreigners. I fear that if the violence spreads to Cape Town that she and her family could be victims simply because they are seen as sympathisers or not really South African enough.

  • amused reader

    @ Len

    Great idea.

    Lets forget, China, Burma, Iraq and Afghanistan, otherwise people start saying that they agree with Afghanistan but disagree with….. etc

    Lets just concentrate on South Africa and Zimbabwe. We have enough problems of our own without starting to solve other peoples.

    @ Traps – Are you (and the M&G) going to run with the idea?

  • Cool Down

    Thank you for your comment. You are commenting
    on this article with total disregard of our
    common history.One should see what is happening
    today against the background of the 19th century
    It is not the first time and it won’t be the last time that Southern Africa will be struck by tragedy.
    In the early 1800’s it was struck by the Mfecane
    ‘the crushing’ by the Nguni and Difagane ‘the
    scattering of tribes’ by the Sotho-Tswana.
    They were called the wars of calamity by the Europeans.

    It is reported that by 1825 two and half million
    starving, homeless people wandered about southern Africa looking for a place to rest, away from

    Allow me to quote the following:

    ” The causes of the mfecane were many. Starting in 1800 a long drought
    made Southern Africa inhospitable moved in
    search of food and fought for meagre supplies,
    producing the Difagane. The entire Sotho-Tswana
    region had fallen into a state of anarchy.One clan
    conquered the other only to be defeated by another’

    The Mfecane gave rise to Shaka Zulu. In less than two decades, a powerful Zulu empire arose from
    a typical Bantu decentralized pastoral society.
    Chaka’s anger knew no bounds.refugee groups invaded the lands of the present ay Botswana.Sohuza of the
    Swazis moved his people North from the Pongola river to present day Swaziland and conquered the peoples living there’The marauding Hlubi and Ngwane
    created chaos moving westward.The Xhosa expanded
    into Khoi-khoi land, some (Koi) retreated to the Kalahari dessert.’The Zulus were eventually defeated
    at Ulundi by the British,Shortly thereafter,the
    Anglo Boer wars took place, the first and second
    world war, stock market collapse etc.

    By this time you will ask what has this got to do
    with today situation. Everything. Today we again
    see people fleeing in their millions across our borders looking for respite, trying to escape
    poverty, famine, all created this time not
    by marauding tribes but by one dictator aided by
    a silent partner.

    So one can expect similar reactions from people
    as those during the Mfecane and Difagane.The African tribes are once again on the move. We may be more civilised, perhaps better equipped but if we
    do not remove the underlying causes the result
    will remain the same. Masses of displaced people.

    Now a bit of the point, this was precisely the
    chaos that confronted the Afrikaners in 1948
    and their effort to restore tribal balance by
    moving people back to the homelands under the
    policy of separate development or better known
    as ‘Apartheid’ proved to be a colossal failure
    in human Engineering.

    Just as they were unable to untangle the mess,
    the present government is facing the same problem
    repatriate the refugees or allow them to integrate. The question as always remains will
    the South African tribes tolerate their presence
    in a climate of poverty,unemployment etc.

    On top of all this you are dealing with a once
    powerful proud independent nation namely the Zulus who were forced together by the iron will of their

    Just try to get the Dutch, Germans, Belgians into
    one state and you have got problems.England
    cant even unite Scotland, Ireland, Wales into
    one united nation without bashing each others
    heads in at soccer matches.

    Yet everyone expects the African tribes to get
    peacefully along with one another, because we
    are one nation. Well I have got news for you
    we are not and what is happening today is a result
    of a lame duck government unable to deal with
    the reality on the ground and confront its
    power hungry former ally who is causing just
    as much upheaval as those whose history I briefly
    highlighted above.

  • Anusham Ray

    as i read the morning papers far away in new delhi, it saddens me to see pictures of a country once struggling towards freedom, and having achieved it, now burning with hatred. have we not learned anything from our past experiences? have we forgotten what it was like to me marginalised? where is our compassion towards others who have arrived in our country, and who willingly carry out menial taskes just to eke out a living?

    whether they have arrived as refugees or legal or illegal immigrants, the fact is that government is unable to provide adequately for these people. let us not forget that many of those who are in government were “refugees” in other countries where they were taken care of. is south africa now neglecting its immigrants because they belong to the lower socio-economic sector?

    the perpetrators of this violence need to be dealt with firmly, and if it is serious in putting a stop to further violence the government needs to send a strong message that this will not be tolerated

  • Sbu


    Take Prof. Manyoni’s suggestion and read the whole dam post Chief, you guys are irritating! Nxxx!

  • Sbu

    @amused reader

    If barbarity is black culture, then racism and oppression is white culture, check your history books! I will come back to you on your foolish comments about black culture, just busy collecting money for your one-way ticket to Australia…

  • http://aol grant montgomery

    @ Traps
    “I’m a criminal lawyer”
    Tell me, is there any other type?

    Seriously though, I think ‘Sam’ has a point; go into politics, it doesn’t have to be a new party, you could make a difference!

  • Michael Trapido

    @ Len – great idea about the hooting.

    Also APOLOGY ON HERALD ARTICLE – It is a letter written to the Herald NOT Govt or Herald opinion.

  • amused reader

    @ sbu

    Check your history books for white oppression, but your newspapers for black barbarity.

    Are my comments about black culture foolish, untrue, or just unpalatable and unpopular?

  • Thoughtist

    To deny tribalism is the height of idiocy.

  • Joshuoa

    It is true that some black people do hate other black people. However, to simply attribute hate of this nature to the simplistic concept of colour has never been the aim of those who have purported the said argument.

    Conclusions drawn by you of this argument as being worthy of a falacy are biased and unproductive as they do partly distort one of the many root causes of this unfortunate state of affairs.

    Just like Arpartheid, whites hated blacks but everyone knows that this hate was not as simplistic as colour, however, in the same breadth, colour was contributory.

    The fact of the matter is this:
    We have overrated the concept of a rainbow nation and this needs to be re – visited. A case in point is the Carte Blanch piece which brought to our attention that some South Afrcan’s were also displaced from their homes on the basis of their ethnic identity. Some call it Trabalism, I call it black on black hate. Does this mean that the veracity of the problem has been toned down by my argument, I do not think so…

    I beleive that the first step to fixing this problem is by admiting that indeed xenophobia, just like racism, is a part of our society. In other words, South Africans (some) hate each other and this needs to be dealt with.

    The need for a moral regeneration of our society has rised again…(though it has never left us). This is a long term project. The short term project is to however make an example of the fact that our STATE (Government, Excutive, Judiciary, Civil Society and the general public at large) do not condone these thuggery actions worthy of a Genocidal dscription (though not state sponsored).

    This example entails bringing all those responsible to book. We need to remove the sense of entitlement that runs within the fabrick of society by making it public through the course of Justice that people will always be held accountable for their actions.

    “Your democratic right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins!”

  • http://letpeoplespeak.amagama.com Lyndall Beddy

    “something HAS been brewing” for a long time. The African Peer Review warned that zenophobia was increasing. The government denied it was significant.

    “no third force”?
    “spontaneous” outbreaks in the townships in totally different provinces on 8/1/2008, 8/2/2008, 8/3/2008, 8/4/2008 – and now in May?

    You can believe in “no third force”. I prefer to believe in Father Christmas, The Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.

  • Sbu

    @amused reader, and you newly gathered support

    You suffer from a very severe case of David Bullardism – a belief or doctrine that inherent differences among black and white South Africans determine cultural or individual achievement, usually involving the idea that Whites are superior and have the right to rule blacks. This is found in your continued attempts manufacture self-serving labels for black people such as “a group of ‘animals’ laughing as they burn a man to death for no other reason than he is not from the right tribe”. Check your newspaper sources, they seem to have changed their story about the laughing group of animals!

    Again, you are in high speeds to call us names; “as i read about who was raped, or murdered in cold blood each day, knowing that, yet again, it is Black Africans that have cheapened the value of life so much” and “black barbarity is a daily, no hourly, occurance”, you have really outdone yourself this time, and you sound very bitter. Amused as you are, foolishly so, you should not be surprised of these “barbaric” behaviours. Slavery, oppression and other white and racist cultures are known to produce exactly that. And you think 14 years of “Arrogant, greedy, corrupt politicians, who believe themselves above the law, not accountable to the people, who close ranks to protect each others dirty little habits” is enough to create a culture?

    This black culture – the sum total of ways of living built up by a group of human beings and transmitted from one generation to another – that you so badly talk about could only have been created by the unending oppression and David Bullardism that has been perpetuated by white people on black people (Particularly in SA), the 300 years of slavery could only achieve the bitter black man that you seeing today. And this white culture is being transmitted from one generation – suppose 14 years is adequate to create generation – to another. Continue to treat black people as a problem, a barbaric race that needs some form of cleansing, and trust you me, we will all suffer.
    I pity you, the amused and confused one, but I do not blame you, with role model like Eugine and David, you were bound to turn out this way. Try this, and I pray it works:

    “We seldom study the condition of the Negro to-day honestly and carefully. It is so much easier to assume that we know it all. Or perhaps, having already reached conclusions in our own minds, we are loth to have them disturbed by facts. And yet how little we really know of these millions,–of their daily lives and longings, of their homely joys and sorrows, of their real shortcomings and the meaning of their crimes! All this we can only learn by intimate contact with the masses, and not by wholesale arguments covering millions separate in time and space, and differing widely in training and culture. To-day, then, my reader, let us turn our faces to the Black … and seek simply to know the condition of the blacks…of one county there.” From The Souls of Black Folks (W.E.B. DuBois)

    Sharp Sharp!

  • http://letpeoplespeak.amagama.com Lyndall Beddy


    There is a very good comment on the Readers Blog “Where are we Heading” by “Deveolpment Economist” of Allan Greenspan’s analysis – “economic popularism as a response by an impoverished populance to a failing society”

    Can someone link it – I don’t know how to. I think it is relevant.

  • amused reader

    @ sbu

    It is you that has it all wrong, but before i start please note that i draw a very distinct difference between black african people and black african culture. I do not believe white people are in any way superior to black people, but i do recognise that white culture is significantly more advanced than that of black african culture, and i think the evidence bears this out to the extent that no fair minded commentator could really disagree.

    Black culture does not go back 300 years, it goes back thousands of years, why do you only go back 300? That is a rhetoric question, i know the answer, because before that you have no-one left to blame but each other, so you would have to take responsibility yourself!

    Ask yourself the question did slavery and apartheid cause primitive black culture, or did primitive black culture cause slavery and apartheid? You of course know the answer (since one pre-dated the other).

    If black culture had not been so much less advanced that white culture, you would never have been taken into slavery (or to be correct sold each other into slavery). Likewise the British, pre-apartheid, kept black South Africans apart from the Boers because when they arrived the difference in your ‘levels of civilisation’ was so great that they believed you had to be kept separate until you could catch up.

    The British, like I, believed that you were perfectly capable of this, but needed time.

    Why your culture was, and remains, so much behind the rest of the world is open to debate, but ironically, and perhaps unsurprisingly, it is black commentators that usually shed the most light on this subject.

    Go read this blog by the sumo


    Read also the comments, exclusively by blacks.

    That is is behind, can be demonstrated it so many ways. I could list all the african disasters, but how about a positive one. The success black africans achieve when you take them out of african culture and place them in a western one. This is the ‘coup de grace’ for me. Proving your personal equality, with the ineptitude of your culture (in creating the society that you claim to want, as opposed to the primitive society for which your culture was developed).

    There is much that is very admirable in traditional african culture, and if you want to lead that life fine, just don’t then expect a 3 bed semi and a BMW! (or financial equality).

  • amused reader

    Government (suprise suprise) does not accept any responsibility for the unrest.

    Essop Pahad says:

    “He rejected statements that the government’s sluggish service delivery was partly to blame for the situation.

    “A lack of service delivery can never be an excuse … no one else has done what we have done in 14 years. Let’s not forget where we came from,” Pahad said.”


    So the gist of it is we should be grateful , don’t we realise how great things are at the moment, and some ‘right wing’ elements have caused this all. Must be the local AWB branch office situated in Alex then!!!

    Is it me, or are we even starting to sound like Zimbabwe?

    He is right of course, few other could have achieved what the ANC have achieved in 14 years…

  • Cool Down

    amused reader
    You have been here for 4 years,correct? and
    you are already being called a racist or semi
    You’ll have to take it easy from now on because
    your folks back home,wherever that is, are bound
    to refer you to a psychiatrist,on your next visit, wondering what caused your personality change?