Concern over xenophobia

2010-05-31 13:59

There are concerns that xenophobia may erupt in South Africa after

the Fifa World Cup, the “elders” said today.

“We are more worried after the World Cup, the possibilities of

xenophobia... construction jobs fall away and people, especially from Zimbabwe,

will be looking for jobs,” former president of Ireland Mary Robinson told a

press briefing in Johannesburg.

“We hope it does not happen and I hope more job opportunities


With poverty being a concern inside Africa, the elders were not

happy with street traders not being allowed into stadiums and the possibility of

human trafficking.

Former first lady of Mozambique and wife of former president Nelson

Mandela, Graca Machel said Africa was a continent of contrasts.

She said even though there were negatives like poverty in Africa,

there were also huge opportunities.

“We must take pride that we are able to host a huge spectacle...

people must not only concentrate on the negative challenges.”

The ‘elders’ are an eminent group of former leaders who no longer

hold public office and speak and act independently. In the past three years they

have used their voices to turn global attention to the humanitarian crisis in

Zimbabwe and have called on religious and traditional leaders to join the fight

for equality for women and girls.

Seven elders were at the conference today. Those not present

included Kofi Annan, Nelson Mandela, Ela Bhat and Fernando Cardoso.

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