In any civilized world where freedom and justice are the fundamental principles guiding society, it sounds very medieval and extremely inhumane to destroy these very tenets of society. Rule of law is neither discriminative nor selective. A society that desires prosperity and progress, cherishes fundamental human rights.

For any group or individual, to operate on different principles apart from those stated by law, only portrays a deteriorated African society, that lacks social values and should not be supported. It is for this reason, I speak against this antisocial act of barbarism called xenophobic attack, an act that is becoming a cyclical conundrum in South Africa.

Let me start by trying to succinctly revisit certain fundamentally historical antecedents of this ugly social canker that portrays the African continent as uncivilized, barbaric and uncultured.

Before South Africa gained independence in 1994, there was a predominant  sociocultural issue that had gained global attention. That was a form of racial discrimination with the popular nomenclature, apartheid system. History tells us that blacks were largely discriminated in the area of job, education, governance and many others. The most unspeakable was, the whites and blacks could not simply coexist. Blacks settled on different geographical locations as they were not allowed to settle in the specially isolated luxurious communities of the whites. The black south Africans lived under deplorable conditions, a situation which was roundly condemned across the globe.

In 1994, the black South Africans felt that they were sidelined in the area of jobs and business and that the system favoured only  foreigners as most lucrative business ventures and jobs were being maned by foreigners to the detriment of the indigenous South Africans. They adopted what is largely described as xenophobic attacks on foreigners, burning and looting their shops and killing them in some cases.
This inhuman act has since remained with south Africans as it reoccurred in 1995, 1998, 2000, 2008, 2012 and of course, the most recent one (2017) going on.

In my view, I would have supported this xenophobic attack if it was a revolutionary tool against the white man's racist tendencies that happened in the colonial days. The world would have known that such a revolution in whatever form, was only an act to gain independence to ensure freedom, equality and justice but to adopt such a strategy after gaining independence and becoming a democratic dispensation, only amounts to a perpetration of illegality  beyond imagination. Such behavior is incongruous to democratic principles.

What has made this xenophobic attack more profane and devilish is that, colleague African immigrants are rather the target. What I find difficult to understand is, what will happen if affected countries also decide to launch reprisal attacks on south African nationals?  Those who execute this barbaric act should know that they are South Africans across the globe who have equally occupied a niche in the private business sector. At least, South Africans have telecommunications companies in Ghana and are making billions of cedis in this country. It tells us that no man is an island.

What is very pathetic though amazing, is the lackadaisical posture the continental leadership assume when it comes to such issues. Has the African Union gone into a deep slumber or it simply lacks the wherewithal to profess everlasting pragmatic remedy to such an ugly continentally anti democratic canker? In my ordinary speculation, this xenophobic attack in South Africa is a threat to the peace and unity of our continent. Well, am not a prophet of doom any way.
May be we are waiting for the worst to happen.

I still remember vividly that countries including Ghana at a point had to withdraw from any bilateral relations with South Africa in the days of *apartheid system*. For me, the rest of Africa should be ready to tell South Africa that enough is enough of that barbaric act some of their citizenry cannot just let go. If our citizens in south Africa continue to live in panic and fear, incessant attacks by uncivilized groups or individuals, then it is better we break our bilateral relations. We cannot condone such unspeakable level of terrorism.

I urge  the African Union(AU) to act beyond the usual rhetoric and find a lasting solution to this xenophobic issue.
Democratic civilization does not support such levels of barbarism. We must behave as a civilized continent and stop being a laughing stock to the rest of the world.

Denis Andaban


Author: Denis Andaban

Denis Andaban is a young writer and practising journalist. He is also a young teacher who has an unrepentant passion for writing. He has written feature articles ranging from politics, social issues, academic and relationship. He also writes news for many online media portals. Currently, He is reading B A English Language Education at the University of Education, Winneba, Kumasi. Denis Andaban is a native of Fian in the Upper West Region

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