The king’s xenophobic statements are a disgrace

2015-03-27 13:15

South Africa is a democratic state. It is governed by the Constitution, domestic and international laws as well as declarations signed within the United Nations. It is reported that his majesty the king, Goodwill Zwelithini, made statements over the weekend in Pongola that foreigners should leave the country because they are the direct cause to immorality and unruliness.

Let me start by saying that in the African culture the King is never wrong and should never apologise to anyone for statements made. Now the question is: Is the king above the law or the law above the king?

I ask this because a royal public figure such as the king has freedom of speech and that freedom is protected by the Constitution. Such statements are a disgrace – we know that we are fighting xenophobia and looting of foreign shops on daily basis.

Does the king understand that South Africa operates as an open democratic society that obeys foreign laws? According to the Refugee Laws and United Nations, these foreigners have a right to seek refuge in South Africa because they are being persecuted in their own countries. Not all foreign nationals commit fraud, immorality and corruption. I would suggest that in future we deal with the bad potatoes instead of painting all people with the same brush. We know for sure that there are many South Africans who commit crime and go unpunished.

The spaza shops owned by foreigners in the townships and rural areas are nothing compared with the land that was stolen by whites.

Billions of rands are leaving South Africa under our nose but we are quiet.

Why make the few good foreigners scapegoats?

Makhosonke Mkhaliphi

Piet Retief


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