It is a commonplace phenomenon that when people are confronted with certain images or they hear certain words or phrases, these external stimuli evoke pleasant or unpleasant thoughts, positive or negative physical reactions or psychological changes. These reactions are not necessarily based on personal experience, and may have been informed by other peoples’ experiences or simply from routine information gathering. It is akin to a mental scan of keywords in a narrative. Combined together, these keywords give a mental image of the subject under question.
When this exercise is applied to the mention of Republic of South Africa, the following words and phrases jump into mind: xenophobia, semi-literate thugs, violence, corrupt leadership, carjacking, rape, inferiority complex and ingrates.
South Africa has been in the news for a long time for xenophobic attacks on other Africans. The images of destruction visited on African immigrants have made the round in the world. These thugs kill, maim and rape. They accuse other Africans of taking jobs that they are too lazy to do, they accuse them for their economic woes and they invent stories to justify their carnage intentions. Then they judge and hound others like animals. Their leadership, both traditional and political gives tacit approval and make unconvincing excuses in the press. Hear what Jacob Zuma said of the attacks in 2017 “incidents of crime or feuds between people must not be incorrectly characterized as xenophobic violence”! And Goodwill Zwelithini king of South Africa’s Zulu nation reportedly said in March 2015, “head lice should be squashed and foreigners should pack their belongings and leave the country”.
Their xenophobia starts from their embassies where they subject would-be travelers to humiliation. They play visa gods. And when finally the traveler obtains the visa, the traveler faces further humiliation on their national carrier, where semi-literate cabin crew talk down and humiliate their African passengers while they play the servant to the occasional white passenger on the plane. They are conditioned to be ever servile to their white masters. Forget their compromised independence. And on arrival in their international airport, the immigration and customs officers look for the most insignificant excuse to deny entry to the long-suffering black African passenger. They are outrightly hostile. We remember the story of a plane-load of Nigerians that was sent back for issues of yellow card. Nigeria under Foreign Minister Ashiru immediately retaliated and made the South African leadership eat humble pies. They have forgotten; they are back to their old game.
It is this same people whose leaders, cap in hand made a tour of different Black African states to ask for support during what they term “their struggle”. Their leaders came begging for money, for education places for their citizens, for military support and in some cases for military training grounds in some African countries. It is for these same people that many Africans shed their blood, suffered the invasion of their countries by the apartheid regime and were destabilized. The destabilization visited on Mozambique through the creation of Renamo by apartheid South Africa many years ago has still not gone away. Renamo still continues with the agenda of destabilization that it learnt from apartheid South Africa after twenty five years of the Peace Agreement. And it is these same Mozambicans who suffered so much for these South Africans that they now hound and kill like animals in their streets.
South Africans now point scornfully at the rest of Sub-Sahara as “Africans” and claim they are not Africans. They have said it and other Africans should respect that. They have a right to say who they are not. But they have not said who they are. But who really cares who or what they are? We know they aren’t Caucasians neither are they Asians. They are something that evokes xenophobia, semi-literate thugs, violence, corrupt leadership, carjacking, rape, inferiority complex and ingrates in the minds of other Africans. Their collective behavior represents an antithesis to the values of hospitality that Africans hold dear. They cannot be part of us. . What they do not know is that we own our lands in Africa they so much despise. And they have no lands. And there is nothing they can do about it. Black South Africans are just mere tenants on the African soil. Their masters own the lands and own them too.
Black South Africans, in their collective delusions, think their apartheid and race issues are over. They think their so-called struggle is over. They think their independence is forever. If they would focus a bit less on their hatred for other Africans and pay more attention to the emergence of a new world order where peoples’ rights are being threatened, they would understand that their so called independence of 1994 is just an interlude. What Independence without rights to land?! They still have a very long way to go. They still have a long struggle ahead. They will still look for help in the future from other African States. And who will listen to them? They have, in their naiveté and unbridled complex burnt all the bridges. South African can never again pull the wool of Pan-Africanism over the eyes of any Black African State or any African intellectual for that matter.
It is a crime for leaders of Black African states to fold their arms or make some diplomatic noise while Black South Africans maim and kill Black Africans. There are immediate measures that can be taken. Firstly, cut diplomatic ties with South Africa, secondly, expel South Africa from the African Union, thirdly reduce all trade links to the barest minimum (they can’t be killing other Africans and be making money in their countries), and lastly cut all sports ties with South Africa.
We really do not need South Africa for anything.
I hope Jacob Zuma reads this.
Abimbola Lagunju is an author. You can read his work at Afro Point of View and contact him at [email protected].