Dear Southern Africans and Friends of Southern Africa,
RE: SACU Statement on Xenophobic Attacks in South Africa
In the past few weeks, a wave of xenophobic attacks perpetrated towards Black migrants living in some areas in South Africa has resurfaced. These attacks have resulted in destruction of property and loss of life. At least 5 foreign born Blacks in South Africa have been killed and several others have been injured due to the resurgence of anti-foreign sentiments.
In the past, attacks have targeted immigrants from Mozambique, Malawi and Zimbabwe, Nigeria and Congo living in South Africa; however the latest wave has expanded to Ethiopians and Somalis and all foreigners. The burning, killing of foreign Africans has also become increasingly brutal. This escalation in violence is alarming, disruptive and leaves many displaced and in fear for their lives.
Southern African Community USA (SACU) is disturbed by these horrific attacks and strongly condemns violence of any sort. We join concerned Southern Africans and peace loving South Africans in their calls for these assaults on human life to stop. We applaud your sense of humanity and ask that you continue to denounce these heinous crimes against humanity. Our deepest sympathy goes to all who have been affected and have lost loved ones. We continue to keep you in our prayers, as we ask for peace, love, and unity, in the spirit of UBUNTU
As we see images in the media and discuss these attacks, let us do so civilly bearing in mind our own responsibility to not fuel hate. We would also like to remind you to remain vigilant and contact the authorities immediately if you are in fear of your life or that of another person. As the saying goes, “A house divided against itself cannot stand”.
SACU stands with all members of the wider African Diaspora and their respective organizations, here in the US in condemning this violence. This includes the South Africans who make up a large part of our Southern African community. We join with all African governments, and call for the immediate halt to the massacre of African life, and encourage South African government, to put a speedy end to this senseless disregard for human life, of our fellow African brothers and sisters. We urge our community to stand together at this difficult time.
We should not allow a few rogue elements to sow discord amongst us by shaking the foundation of cooperation that we have built. As unofficial ambassadors of our respective nations, we implore you to lead by example to show our host country what we truly stand for as Southern Africans. In the eyes of the rest of the world, we are Africans and immigrants first. When South Africa sneezes, the rest of the continent catches a cold. We are all in this together and should stand together as Southern Africans and as a community.
It is fitting that we remember the words one of our greatest sons of Africa, Nelson Mandela, who says:
“Take your guns, your knives and your pangas, and throw them into the sea.”
“We hope the world will reach a stage when it realizes that the use of violence against any community is something that puts us next to animals”
“No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.”
Southern African Community USA (SACU)