‘I’m tired of being sad… If my neighbor has no life I can’t breathe’
‘It wearies me; you say it wearies you’. An African, a Zimbabwean, Elvis Nyathi, was BURNT to death by a violent mob in Diepsloot, South Africa. This was after he failed to produce a Passport. What is the South African state’s response?
The state deployed 120 police officers, 16 vehicles, officials from South African Revenue Service (SARS) [ an equivalent of ZIMRA in Zimbabwe) and officials from the dreaded Home Affairs department in Diepsloot. To do what? To search for undocumented migrants and so far 24 have been arrested.
The new police commissioner said the solution is to ‘send back home illegal foreigners ‘. This smacks of state institutionalization of AFROPHOBIA in post-colonial Africa. Worse still in the heat of the moment. Worse still by a country claiming to be the epicenter of African renaissance and ubuntu ( the African belief that I am because we are).
Worse still by a country helped by fellow Africans to attain independence in 1994. What about opposition parties? Economic Freedom Fighters ( EFF) has expressed utter dismay.
However, the ill advised EFF visits to restaurants demanding to know who is foreigner and South African a few months back in order to ‘ harmonize’ workers set a bad precedence.
Vigilante groups seem to have the same philosophy of door to door visits demanding to know who is foreigner, albeit for different reasons including killing.
Action SA is overtly Afrophobic. The Democratic Alliance ( DA) is clear the solution is to deport undocumented migrants en masse and protect borders against the poor migrants.
What about the Zimbabwean state? So far it’s callousness is revealed by its loud silence. Who then should poor migrants look up to? Between a Rock (read Zimbabwe) and a Hard Place (read South Africa).
Reader, ‘I’m tired of being sad, and you say you’re tired of it, too’. But unlike Antonio, in sooth, I do know why I am so sad. If my neighbor has no life I can’t breathe.