The African medias have profusely elaborated on the recent attacks on foreigners in South Africa, mostly black africans with nigerians and zimbabweans considered as most affected according to the medias. Several analysts have contributed extensively, making relevant for me to share my take on the issue, focusing on how to remedy to the situation in order to strengthen the needed peace for the development and well being of the African continent. Thus, it is mandatory to first understand the reasons behind the violences, then the people that should be involved in solving the situation before entertaining the actions that deserve to be taken.
« Xenophobia » in South Africa has three main sources : psycho-historical, economical, and political.
The struggle for liberation from the atrocity of the apartheid regime in 1995 has seriously affected the psychology of most young South Africans,especially those who were children then and might have been strongly traumatised looking at what the country went through. the healing of such deep wounds takes time and extensive educational and political measures that would have to build up self-esteem and fix the humanity that might have been broken through the atrocity the people witnessed. The amount of frustration and anger accumulated throughout the apartheid regime is still there ready to come out, especially when the people are still complaining about their poor living condidtions.
From the various analysis , it appears that South Africa has been able to end the political apartheid, but the shadow of an economical apartheid in the sense that merely 10% of the population (the white minority) possesses 80% of the overall wealth of the country. Living the majority of the population in poverty and the youth jobless , meanwhile the Country stands out economically among the African nations.
Politically, it has been established that several leaders including the main ones have been linking the failure of their development programmes to the presence of the foreigners. Actually these violence attacks on foreigners have started since 1998 and occured at least 5 times from 1998 to 2019 with much people killed and businesses looted. The suprise here is just the absence of concrete actions taken by the South African government in oder to discourage the criminals. It is important to state the fact that the criminality rate in the country is one of the highest in the world. Meaning that the responsibility of the political leaders is at hands.
This could also be considered as a shared responsibility with the political leaders of the other countries which citizens have been affected through the several years of attacks. They seem to have not taken any formal strong steps in order to have to South African government go after those who carried out the crimes. Thus, the regional organisations could have also taken actions in order to prevent the situation from being recurrent. Also, the South African people have their share. It appears therefore that we must all come together and play our part in handling this criminal situation in South Africa.
It is important to understand that not all South Africans are involved in this criminal attacks. The consequences of such attacks on foreign africans as targets might be far beyond considerations and requires keen interests. To handle the best the situation and prevent this from happening again the main actors to be involved are the South African Government, the states that citizens have suffered from the harms caused by the attacks, and the the regional institutions.
The government could enforce its policy in dealing with crimes in general, especially these attacks on foreign africans : arresting the perpetrators, prosecuting them and sentencing them according to the gravity of the crimes established by the judicial. A massive psychological education campaign could be organized at the national level in order to help the highly frustrated people to let go violence as a way of expressing themselves. Political language inciting to violence against foreigners should be prohibited. Others states and international instutions should put the needed pressure on the South African Government and assist the country financially and administratively in prosecuting the criminals and attending to the victims.
For an effective approach in dealing with the issue, a special committee should be set up, made of all the required experts representatives of all the main actors involved. This would inspire more trust and transparency in the process. Just enough to reinstall a friendly atmosphere among these African nations.