2008-07-24 00:00

It is a sad commentary on the recent acts of xenophobic violence in this country that over half of those accommodated temporarily at the Glenanda refugee camp in Johannesburg have decided to be deported to their countries of origin rather than register for temporary identification documents. Most of these are Zimbabweans and the situation they are returning to is still desperate. Yet they have preferred to go rather than to remain here.

South Africa, after the advent of democracy in 1994, became for the continent as a whole a shining light. It had made great strides towards justice, reconciliation and peace. It was the economic engine of Africa. Since then, alongside much achievement, these positive factors have been blurred by much ugliness. The euphoria is over and “celebrate, the beloved country” has reverted in many ways to “cry, the beloved country” all over again.

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