Get real. Foreigners haven’t caused SA’s implosion. Our inept ...

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Get real. Foreigners haven’t caused SA’s implosion. Our inept leaders have

In our xenophobic thinking, we blame them when we kill our own, and now we’ll crucify them for our economic collapse

Columnist

Tell a South African that they are xenophobic and they will lash out at you in all manner of ways in defence of themselves and their fellow citizens. They will feign pain and outrage. They will be shocked at your accusation. After a vociferous denial of it all, they will likely conclude with the words: “But these foreigners must also stop ... ”

And there you have it. It is what xenophobes have been saying for centuries. These foreigners must stop “selling expired food” (many of us routinely find expired goods at many established grocery stores, but do we immediately loot and steal from the same shops?); the foreigners must stop “stealing our women”, the xenophobes say. They must stop stealing our husbands; they must not take our jobs; they must not make too much noise; they must not be so confident. In essence, these foreigners must stay away from me because, largely, I don’t know them and I fear the unknown.

Well, we are here again with xenophobia. In Soweto and in Hillbrow and in so many other places, “they” are accused of selling expired goods or “hijacking buildings” or bringing about lawlessness. They get attacked, abused and insulted. It is all such utter nonsense. If the goods they sell are so dangerous, why are the very same people who do not want them actively breaking into the foreigners’ shops to steal them? If the foreigners bring lawlessness to Hillbrow or the Joburg inner city, why are the police gleefully taking bribes from them? Who is perpetuating lawlessness?..

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