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South African businesses face boycotts due to Afrophobic attacks

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by Joseph Earnest April 21, 2015


Newscast Media CAPE TOWN—The memory of South Africans living in neighboring African countries as refugees isn't distant because apartheid is still fresh on the countries that hosted their fellow Africans. Yet South Africans have shown their gratitude by attacking the same hands that cared for them when they were destitute.


African immigrants have faced a wave of violence against their businesses, families and personages from South Africans who accuse them of taking their jobs.  While the attacks against people from foreign countries is usually referred to as xenophobia, a different phrase called "Afrophobia" has been coined since these are Africans attacking fellow Africans.


Whites, Asians, Latin Americans and Arabs are a lot safer in South Africa than indigenous Africans, a phenomenon which has been described as "self-hate" by police minister, Nathi Nhleko.

Nhleko described the attacks as examples of “Afrophobia”, not xenophobia. “What you don’t see is you don’t see Australians being chased on the streets, Britons being chased on the streets and similar demands being placed on them that they should be leave the country and so on,” he said.

“What you effectively see is largely Africans against one another in a sense now. That’s why I’m saying it represents a certain type of political problem that has got to be dealt with by ourselves as South Africans. In a sense, what we are witnessing are actually Afrophobic kind of activities and attacks, resembling all elements of self-hate among Africans,” according to a report by the Guardian. (pop-up)

However, the issue is deeper than self-hate South Africans also suffer from an inferiority complex, that's why they treat fellow Africans worse than non-Africans. 

“The attacks in Durban happened because the government failed to deal with the root cause of xenophobia,” which is South Africa’s dire economic situation and high crime rates, said Dewa Mavhinga, a senior researcher for the Human Rights Watch Africa division. He is Zimbabwean and decided to return home from Johannesburg this week after witnessing threats of violence against foreigners, Newsweek reported. (pop-up)

Africans to boycott South African business like MTN, DSTV and Shoprite

Zambia's biggest private radio station Q FM has announced on its Facebook page that it has "indefinitely blacked out the playing of South African music in protest against xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals taking place in that country", according to a BBC report.

In Mozambique, South African engineers have been evacuated after they faced retaliation from Mozambicans who placed road blocks on the streets and targeted cars with South African license plates. South African companies Kentz Engineering and DRA Engineering had evacuated staff from coal mines in Tete in Mozambique.

A source at a Tete mine said: "The moment management heard of the threats, which for now are verbal, all South Africans were evacuated. They have been moved to secure camps. Just as South Africans are upset that foreigners are getting work in South Africa, Mozambicans are too," said the source. (pop-up)

Late last week, Nigeria gave South Africa an ultimatum of 48 hours to stop xenophobic attacks of else South African businesses in Nigeria would be shut down.

“We actually handed a letter to the South African embassy yesterday, making them aware that we are not happy with what is going on in South Africa. Should there be any more attacks, we are going to shut down South African businesses in Nigeria. That is MTN, Multi Choice, Shoprite etc,” said All Progessive Congress (APC) official Tolu Adesanya, according to the Lusaka Times. (pop-up)

In the meantime, Sky News is reporting that Malawians are calling for a national wide boycott of South African shops and goods until its Government starts taking serious action over Xenophobic attacks that have affected their relations in the Kwa Zulu Natal City of Durban.

Activist Billy Mayaya has called for a demonstration outside the South African High Commission in Lilongwe for Malawians to express their dismay over attacks on their compatriots in South Africa.

Ghana would not be left out of the boycott party and the Bureau of Public Safety released the following statement encouraging a boycott of South African businesses in Ghana: "The Bureau of Public Safety will embark on a campaign for all Ghanaians and other African nationals to observe a boycott of all South African shops, products, and services in Ghana and the rest of Africa as a peaceful demonstration of our displeasure and condemnation of the gruesome killings, and ceaseless torture of our kith and kin in South Africa,” the statement signed by Nana Yaw Akwada said in part.

Below is a collection of comments from across the globe about South Africa:











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