It appears to be an ingrained human flaw to pronounce, devoid of any degree of knowledge, with such authority on certain matters that fiction is believed to reality. The situation across the Limpopo River in Zimbabwe is the case in point. South Africans, including some with self-interest, see themselves in some manner as experts on how the political and economic situation in Zimbabwe ought to be resolved. The large majority of those who are vociferous in their disgust of the political shenanigans do so from a distorted premise; that their ill-informed opinions are the gospel which the rest of us should endorse without reservation.
We have consistently been lied to that close to four million Zimbabweans have illegally crossed the border into South African; fleeing the repressive and tyrannical Zanu-PF regime of Robert Mugabe. The sensational reporting by the South African media, on one hand, appears to have been inspired by the nefarious desire to pressure the SADC appointed mediator to the Zimbabwean conflict, President Thabo Mbeki, to retract from what they have termed “quiet diplomacy”, whatever that is.
There has been widespread uneasiness with the manner in which the President Mbeki has been discharging the burden of such a monumental task of resolving the conflict. Many have wished the President to resort to grandstanding and theatricals to appease the western interests and those of white minorities, some of whom in some manner have links to the “apartheid” Rhodesia and are desirous in preserving their interests. The reporting was intended to create panic among ordinary South Africans; that we were not being invaded by illegal aliens; that some sort of thing drastic needed to be done. But the veracity of such propaganda is debatable.
The truth is, Zimbabwe has a population of about 12 million. If indeed four million Zimbabweans fled to South Africa; that would suggest a third of the population would have left; that excludes those already in the diaspora. This suggests that we have uninvited guests of numbers almost four times the population of the biggest township in South Africa, Soweto; add to those numbers those from other parts of Africa, for example: Mozambique, Zambia, Malawi, Nigeria, Somalia, etc. Perhaps it is owing to my bluntness of mind that I struggle to make any sense of such purported influx. Where are all these people? Who has been counting them? They are reported to be illegal, therefore, logic suggests that none of them would have availed themselves to the authorities or gone through any channels by which statistics could be recorded. The wave of xenophobic violence has exposed this as one of the biggest lies the media has fed the unsuspecting and naïve audience.
Since some idiots decided to root out illegal immigrants, the authorities reported that only about 30,000 or so have been displaced and become victims of some of the brainless squatter camp residents. One question remains: where are the rest of illegal immigrants reported to have invaded our country? I can only come to one conclusion — there are none, and there never have been that many that came to South Africa.