ACT NOW: Ethnic violence in South Africa is unacceptable
I received this touching letter from a Journalist in South Africa. As the world is aware of, there is a serious situation of xenophobic violence going on in South Africa. I have posted it here for the community to see, know, and act where and how neccessary, against this unacceptable act going on in South Africa.
Ordinary people are under siege on our doorsteps, in Malvern, Kensington,
Jeppe, Troyeville, Cleveland, Alex, Primrose...and it goes on.
Many of these people have been displaced from their homes, jobs and normal
life. For some this is the second or third time they are being vilified for
being born in the wrong country or the wrong ethnic group or the wrong
religion or the wrong side of the class divide.
For the first time since 1994, I ask the question whose freedom did I fight
Were we not clear on what kind of society we were fighting and prepared to
die for? Have we allowed our people to lead such destitute lives, to the
point that we have driven them to kill and steal from equally poor people
who are different from them by virtue of their birth country? Surely not.
How could we have spawned such a ruthless non-caring people in such a short
space of time?
Chapter Nine institutions have set up a task team chaired from the SAHRC,
together with stakeholders. Meetings will be had with government, religious
community, police and media.
We need decisive action.
* We call on the SANDF to defend defenseless people, for both people of non
south african origin and for local people who have been attacked for being
friends, partners, children of foreign nationals.
* We need a hot line where displaced people can seek help and for those
willing to help to add their name to a database of supporters who are
willing to provide their time and resources
* We call on the ANC to give decisive leadership, to make a stand and to
defend the defenceless, people who have already been displaced from their
home countries. We also need stronger language and sentences to deal with
criminals who are committing atrocities against innocent people. Criminals
should know there are consequences.
* We call on politicians to ACT. ACT in a manner that provides an enabling
economy where the poor are not left hungry while others are enriched. ACT to
sort out the Department of Home Affairs so that refugees are supported in a
fair and expeditious way.
We are willing to work to end this horrible crisis in our midst. But we need
the government to show that it is behind us, a government of the people who
has not abandoned its people.
Concerned citizens of South Africa and of the world.
Posted on Charlene's behalf by Leah Auma Okeyo.
Africa Outreach Specialist