Race Attacks in South Africa: Indigenous Alienation, Immigration, and ANC Cronyism

Race Attacks in South Africa: Indigenous Alienation, Immigration, and ANC Cronyism 

Michiyo Tanabe and Lee Jay Walker

Modern Tokyo Times


The abject failure of the African National Congress (ANC) continues because mass unemployment, limited opportunities, and poverty in many neighborhoods are a daily reality. At the same time, the political leader of this nation, President Jacob Zuma, is embroiled in many scandals related to cronyism and other negative realities. Therefore, the anti-immigrant demonstration in Pretoria, and felt in other parts of South Africa, is based on increasing alienation and the feeling of abandonment.

Indigenous South Africans, just like many Americans who voted for President Donald Trump of America, feel betrayed by the political elites, endless immigration, and the ramifications of globalization. Of course, differences vary enormously in America, France, South Africa, and other nations. However, certain underlying areas unite shared feelings within all the above nations.

Ethnic tensions in the alleged “Rainbow nation” are a continuing reality and the same applies to ANC cronyism. Indeed, several years ago Malawi began evacuating its citizens at the height of ethnic tensions. Similarly, Zimbabwe condemned attacks against the citizens of this nation who were attacked in South Africa. Sadly, for Zimbabwe, this is nothing new because events in 2008 also erupted into ethnic violence when citizens from this nation were attacked in South Africa.

It is all too easy to use emotional language like “xenophobia” but for the disenfranchised in South Africa, it is much more complex. After all, the liberal elites and politically correct are not suffering from issues related to grinding poverty, losing jobs based on immigration, and feeling abandoned by the political elites. Hence, attacks by indigenous South Africans against foreign nationals are based on many negative and complex issues.

The BBC reports, Earlier this week, angry mobs attacked Nigerians and looted shops belonging to Somalis, Pakistani and other migrants in townships around Pretoria and parts of Johannesburg.”

One hastens to say in Somalia all converts to Christianity face death at the hands of the Sunni Islamist al-Shabaab and face institutional discrimination. Likewise, religious minorities including Christians and the Shia face persecution in Pakistan. Similarly, in Nigeria, you have endless ethnic massacres and the Sunni Islamist Boko Haram butcher. Therefore, all nations have various complex issues but for alienated South Africans, they are disillusioned with being put at the bottom of the pile, in relation to ANC political elites who have abandoned them.

The Mamelodi Concerned Residents group in Pretoria blame immigrants for drugs and issues related to prostitution. At the same time, genuine bread and butter issues in relation to work are creating tensions. This is based on certain sections in Pretoria feeling that immigrants are taking needed jobs from the indigenous community. Once more, the echo of this can be found in several European nations and is being highlighted by several political parties who feel abandoned and betrayed by the usual political establishment.

Reuters stressed about changing political dynamics last year by stating, “Unemployment, a stagnating economy and scandals around President Jacob Zuma led voters to punish the ANC, changing the outlook for national elections in 2019 and potentially emboldening Zuma’s rivals within the ANC to challenge him.”

Ethnic attacks in South Africa are nothing new but given the current negative dynamics in this nation then the causes should be focused on in greater depth. In other words, the indigenous community that feels abandoned needs more support. At the same time, the central government needs to tackle serious issues in relation to cronyism, massive poverty, indigenous alienation, unemployment, and issues related to immigration.



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