Fighting against xenophobia in South Africa

Posted on November 19, 2015 12:00 am

Xenophobia is still a very big problem and it is a conflict that can also be seen in South Africa. Xenophobia, where mostly in the country deals with color and race, you see in South Africa is more about ethnicity and color. There were many anti-Africans riots earlier this year that had injured Africans from other African countries either physically or mentally.Mozambique nationals bore the brunt of the violence in a conflict involving local South African people and the ethnic Africans who live in South Africa for education or economic reasons. The situation had gradually gotten better as South African government has enabled the fight against racial and ethnic discrimination. However, the conflict over xenophobia isn’t something that can be easily fixed.South Africa and the organisations that deal with racism should work towards the reconciliation of the South Africans-Africans from rest of the continent who have been racially and ethnically discriminated by South Africans. Also, the South Africans who have racially abused Africans should be prosecuted. These actions are a solution that helps both sides of the conflict and are easily carried out. Organisations should use reconciliation because it can heal the African immigrants of their mental and emotional damage and their thoughts about the South Africans. Africans who have witnessed and been through the Xenophobia tragedy might still have grudges against the South African people who have attacked them. These grudges are very hard to get over and also might need special treatment. Africans who went through the crisis this year and in the past, shouldn’t hold grudges the wrong way and so the organisations should change the way they think about it. Reconciliation is a very effective solution to build trust with Africans as stated before as they hold considerable sway over South Africa’s economy. This is a good solution as it benefits all sides of the conflict in different ways.

Pretoria City South Africa
Pretoria City South Africa in this photo I took four years ago

Along with comforting Africans, prosecution of the South Africans is needed as it is an effective way to teach that xenophobia is not accepted in South Africa. It is shown that a number of laws against foreigners especially black Africans discrimination have been passed down by the government in Pretoria.There are already laws that go against racism and ethnicity against Africans. So it’s just a matter of finding out the persons and putting them on trial in court. If prosecution doesn’t happen, the local South Africans won’t know that it’s a problem that they are facing and seizing the situation and fixing the problem will be impossible. South Africans have to know that they are discriminating against Africans and they have to stop.Nowadays there are many organisations that speak against xenophobia in South Africa, so I propose to these organisations the two justice approaches of reconciliation and prosecution because it is an easy task to carry out. These organisations have not done what they could actually do to their full potential. It is known that South Africa has already started reconciliation. However, that approach hasn’t been used in solving xenophobia, but in the conflict between South African blacks and black Africans in South Africa. So the many strategies that were used to fix the conflict of apartheid can be applied to fixing xenophobia. Along with reconciliation, prosecution is also an easy task as there are already laws against discriminating against African immigrants and prosecution is effected. Reconciliation and prosecution are  already established and on their way. As xenophobia is still going on, organisations in South Africa should work harder on stopping it.

Contador Harrison