Thursday, March 27, 2008

divide and rule

Socialist Banner has pointed out the threat of discrimination in South Africa against in-comers from other parts of the continent and now another news report high-lights the problem .

Human rights organisations in South Africa have condemned a spate of xenophobic attacks that have reportedly left four people dead and hundreds homeless.
"At least a 1,000 people have also been left homeless in the latest attack - we are really concerned," said Vincent Moaga, spokesman for the South African Human Rights Commission .

The United Nations Refugee Agency said it had recorded at least half a dozen attacks against foreign nationals in the past few weeks, including the fatal shooting of two migrants in another township outside Pretoria on 18 March. Following the killing, thousands of people went on a rampage, assaulting foreigners in four other informal settlements, reported local newspapers.

"Most of the attacks seem to stem from social tensions within the communities," said Jack Redden, UNHCR spokesman in South Africa. "Many foreign nationals unable to afford rentals in city centres have begun to relocate to townships - and have become the focus of simmering tensions within townships over lack of service delivery." Nearly 17 million strong labour force remain officially unemployed in South Africa. A further 3.5 million are classified as "discouraged work-seekers" or "unemployed." South Africa as the regional economic superpower has attracted migrants - both legal and illegal - from across the continent and beyond

"It is a new kind of racism," commented Annah Moyo, a human rights lawyer with the Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF). "It is understandable, I think, because South Africans feel threatened as many employers prefer to hire foreign nationals because they can exploit them - but violence can never be justified."

Divide and rule to maintain whites in political power has been the history of Africa in the past but now industry and commerce , much of it black owned , now use the same tactic to weaken the working class to continue their control .

Shared exploitaion deserves the response of united resistance.

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