Killing people who helped set us free

I FIND it amazing how South Africans, particularly those who in the name of xenophobia loot foreigners’ stores, continually shoot themselves in their feet, and are unable to understand the concept of consequences, or for that matter, forward planning.

Malawi has become the first African country to evacuate its citizens from South Africa; this is brilliant, considering that Malawi (at the time Nyasaland) hosted for a night Oliver Tambo, Yusuf Dadoo and Ronald Segal when they were leaving South Africa to go into exile.

Malawi, along with many other African nations protected, sheltered, educated, and nurtured many South Africans who fled South Africa’s apartheid regime and its policies.

How do our xenophobic fools react to this?

They loot their businesses and home, ruin their lives, and even kill those very people who may themselves be related to people who gave exiled South Africans shelter. The mind boggles.

These are people who for various reasons have come to South Africa in search of a better life and, in fact, offer services to many South Africans which they otherwise would not get.

During apartheid, many white South Africans would travel overseas and be treated like pariahs due to the apartheid government’s laws; once we were free, those same South Africans would be treated with wonder due to the process of reconciliation which happened, which was the sole doing of Nelson Mandela.

Right now, those same South Africans will be called xenophobes and killers. How history tends to be repeated is amazing. Except, this time, the evil is not being perpetrated by an apartheid government, but by the very people who were assisted in being set free by the people they are killing.

Madiba and all those no longer with us who fought for our freedom must be turning in their graves in shame.

Cry the beloved country!

-Gordon Upton, Port Elizabeth

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