Xenophobia: "Walk the Talk"

2015-04-15 13:25

Despite on- going efforts by civil society and government to curb hate crimes like xenophobia, further stern steps must be taken to address discriminatory violence in South Africa.

Every citizen in South Africa need to acknowledge that xenophobia does exist and that it is a crime and it must be condemned.

Like other forms of crime, xenophobic violence threatens social cohesion and economic growth.

Perpetrators of, especially, discriminatory crimes frequently go unpunished which send a message that foreigners, refugees and immigrants can be criticised and attacked with liberty.

Stern measures like strengthening and visible law enforcement and prosecuting offenders would help to address hate crimes and also send a clear message that xenophobic violence will not be tolerated.

Furthermore, to ease tension and eradicate xenophobia strategies must be put in place to help promote peaceful co-existence between all who live in South Africa.

Moreover, a commission must be set up to look at and address the root causes of hate crimes vis a vis the current wave of afrophobic/ xenophobic violence we are witnessing.

Statements and speeches from political parties and members of parliament must translate into visible action.

Most importantly, businesses and government must work together to create job opportunities for the millions that are unemployed and are living in extreme poverty.

South African citizens should not display myopic tendencies; a few decades ago it was through the magnanimity of these very “foreigners” governments that South Africans more specifically these perpetrators of xenophobic violence, can today live in a democratically free South Africa.

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