By Ibrahim Alieu Kanu
Xenophobia in the South is a phenomenon synonymous with violence and hatred towards foreigners, but it is unimaginable that black South Africans are chasing, killing, maiming and burning alive fellow blacks from Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Seychelles and other foreign nationals across Africa, especially Nigerians and Ghanaians.
It is better for African States to stop celebrating June 16 in commemoration of the 1976 Soweto massacre of innocent black children during the apartheid era because those who that date was set aside for no longer deserve it.
The segregation of blacks and whites began in 1948 after the Nationalist Political Party assumed power and instituted policies of white supremacy which empowered white South Africans who descended from both Dutch and British settlers in South Africa while further disenfranchising black Africans.
When black South African high school students in Soweto protested against the use of “Afrikaans” as the language of instructions in schools, through the medium decree of 1974, Zimbabweans, Zambians and Mozambicans helped them greatly in that protest in 1976, where 176 black students were killed, but other reports are saying the death toll was over 800.
It was as a result of that massacre on 16 June 1976 that June 16 was set aside by the African Union as the day of the African Child in commemoration of those black kids massacred on that fateful day.
The minority whites in South Africa control almost 89% of the wealth in the country, but the brainwashed blacks don’t have the courage to attack them, but they are directing their madness to poor fellow blacks from Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Nigeria, Ghana, Zambia and other Africa nations who are only owners of mini shops, hair dressing saloons, auto mechanic shops and those vending in the streets just to eke a living.
Mozambique, Zimbabwe, Zambia and other neighboring nations in the Southern Africa Development Community (SADEC) region all contributed physically, financially and morally in fighting apartheid to liberate South Africa from white minority rule, but today South Africans are paying those nations by killing and burning their citizens alive and spear the minority whites who still control the majority of the wealth in South Africa.
It is unfathomable to see South Africans killing citizens from those nations.
The world should shun South Africa, stop buying their products, suspend them from international organizations, and ban their athletes including their football stars from plying their trade in Europe and from participating in competitions organized in any part of the world.
But if someone asks me about who to blame for the current xenophobic attacks on African nationals in South Africa, I will waste no time to point at the late Nelson Mandela who the West and its media dressed in borrowed robes.
The people of South Africa fought the apartheid system not only for political freedom but also for economic emancipation.
During the election of Nelson Mandela in 1994, there was a genocide going on in Rwanda where 800,000 Tutsis and moderate Hutus were massacred in a tender period of 90 days.
The Western media never covered that destruction they instead concentrated on the South African elections because Nelson Mandela promised not to use the retributive justice hammer on what the whites subjected the blacks to for more than 2 centuries.
Nelson Mandela never lived up to the expectations of the majority blacks of emancipating them from economic slavery.
The wealth of the nation was controlled by minority whites and is still controlled by the same people during the Mandela era and after him.
There are thousands if not millions of South Africans who are without a place to call home in their own country because their lands were confiscated by the minority whites during the apartheid era and because Nelson Mandela could not return their lands to them they are roaming like vagabonds in their own country.
Nelson Mandela sacrificed the economic emancipation of his people on the alter of Western admiration and pampering.
All the praises the West was giving to Mandela was as a result of Mandela refusing to pay the minority whites in their own coin, but he did nothing to liberate his people from economic slavery.
One may want to mention his 10,000 days or 27 years spent on Robben Island, where he was not the only one imprisoned in the struggle to freedom.
Oliver Tambo, Govan Archibald Mvuyelwa Mbeki, father of former President Thabo Mbeki, Andrew Mlangeni, Walter Sisulu, Harold Wolpe, Elias Motsoaledi, Kathrada a Muslim Indian and many other black South Africans were imprisoned like him.
If Mandela had created the platform for equal distribution of wealth among his people, all these xenophobic rhetoric would not have happened.
The minority whites are not bothered at all of not electorally controlling political power, because they dominated the economy of the nation so they are invariably controlling the government.
The West is happy of the prevailing circumstances in South Africa because it will continue strengthening their grip on the economic power of South Africa, so African leaders should rise up and do something to stop the beginning of retributive justice to South Africans in other nations across the world.
I can say xenophobia is the legacy of Nelson Mandela because he refused to economically empower his fellow blacks and the white minority is in control of their economy and black South Africans are killing their own kinds in the name of taking over their own jobs.
Nelson Mandela never empowered the blacks but inferiority complex is not allowing black South Africans to confront minority whites who are depriving them of their livelihood.
It is that foreigners who had settled in South Africa had become financially and economically more successful compared to their local counterparts and due to this successful experience attracted more foreigners.
This served to exacerbate the current tensions and increase antagonisms between their locals and foreigners.
All these are happening as a result of the failure of Nelson Mandela to empower his fellow black South Africans economically.
Nelson Mandela succumbed to the flattering tunes of the West who showered him with many awards.