This is how we deal with criminals

2011-07-02 10:31

News reports portray South Africans as inhuman and uncivilised.

And xenophobia ­reports on page 4 of City Press (June 26 2011) are no different.

In these reports, foreigners are ­always portrayed as “innocent”.

It would be interesting to read a report that says: “A foreign national was arrested by civilians for theft, rape or murder and unfortunately stoned or burnt to death as a result of the civilian mob.”

This is not xenophobia but how intruders have always been dealt with; in the townships by gangs with knives and in the rural villages by young men with stones.

The apartheid police was never meant to protect black communities, even during colonialism. In the rural areas, young men are ­responsible for protecting their communities and they are trained to do so at initiation schools.

 Any intruder who commits crime will be stoned to hell and is lucky if they are not killed before the police arrive.

Squatter camps are extensions of rural villages around cities, and the practice is the same. This has nothing to do with losing faith in the judicial system or encouraging xenophobic murders.

South Africans are known for their unparalleled spirit of ubuntu.

This was born out of hardship. People shot, stoned, burnt and hacked each other with axes and in the process learned that the pain of injury or losing a loved one is the same in any human being.

So for Sanda Kimbimbi to suggest in his article that South Africans need to be educated to know that foreigners are human beings is an insult.

In his article “Educate on shared humanity of foreigners” in City Press of June 26 2011, he says foreigners are angels.

This is what will cause real xenophobia.

In order for integration to happen, foreigners need to learn about South Africans and do so fast.

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