In the light of South Africa’s unapologetic response to pleas to stop hacking down other fellow Africans, other African countries have decided to take equally drastic measures to ensure that South African locals in other African countries equally feel the heat of what their fellow locals are doing to foreign Nationals in South Africa. So we bring you the reaction of other African countries to the violence in South Africa.
Africa Reacts To Xenophobia
In reaction to the violence meted on citizens of other countries in South Africa, the people of Mozambique have taken it upon themselves to see that the people of South Africa do not go unpunished for what they have done and as such, Xenophobic violence has broken out in Mozambique, forcing citizens of South Africa who reside in Mozambique to take to their heels and to seek shelter in neighboring states.
A road block has been set up near the Ressano Garcia border post with South Africa by a group of people who are stopping vehicles with South African number plates from entering the country and reportedly stoning some of them.
John Mashiloane, a truck driver who works for Ngululu Carriers said he had to turn back when locals in Mozambique started stoning his truck a short distance from the border town of Ressano Garcia. He went on to say
“I’m back in South Africa, we have parked our trucks in Komatipoort. When we went into Mozambique in the morning, we saw that traffic was clear and thought it was fine, but just 4km into Mozambique near the Muamba Toll Gate, we found a mob of about 300 people in bakkies who started pelting our trucks with stones and telling us that we are killing their brothers and sisters so we deserve to die too,”
Also, Mozambican workers at mining and gas companies have also protested about the violence, downing tools on Thursday demanding that South African employees leave and that their jobs should be taken by those fleeing the violence in South Africa.
The government however, asked people not to retaliate against South Africans and urged Mozambicans who make the trip from the capital, Maputo, to go shopping at the weekend – not to go to South Africa, so the situation does not escalate. An anti-xenophobia march in Maputo also held on Saturday.
A Mozambican youth group posted this suggestion on its Facebook page:
“In view of the xenophobic disgrace coming from South Africa, the Youth Parliament advocates that electricity and gas supplies to South Africa be suspended until [South Africa’s President] Jacob Zuma comes to Mozambique to redeem himself.”
While the people of Mozambique are becoming actively hostile to South Africans, Zimbabwean youths and student body are plotting ways to attack South African businesses in Zimbabwe in retaliation for the businesses of Zimbabwean people destroyed in the violence.
In a more serious turn, Riot police in the capital, Harare, dispersed a crowd of protesters outside the South African embassy after they tried to force open the gates while singing the South African national anthem until the deputy ambassador eventually came out to receive their petition.
Over 1,500 Zimbabweans have been evacuated from South Africa.
In Zambia, they have taken their own method of retaliation in a more mild fashion as 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”. The station also featured the special say no to Xenophobia logo below on its Facebook page, stating in strong terms that they need to send a message to South Africans that violence on fellow Africans negates African unity which the forefathers of the continent fought for.
Meanwhile, protesters in Zambia wore black to the streets on Friday, carrying placards to the South African High Commission in Lusaka to complain about the xenophobia.
This did not come as a complete surprise since so many other countries are planning ways of evacuating their people from the trouble ridden south Africa. In a more active scene, Zimbabwe has successfully evacuated its citizens from South Africa with Robert Mugabe actively and openly condemning such acts of violence.
For Nigerians however who regard themselves as survivors no matter the odds, the process of reacting to the attacks on their citizens in South Africa is a lot slower than one can imagine for the giant of Africa. To prove this, rather than ask the Nigerian government to get them out of South Africa like the Zimbabweans did, Nigerians in South Africa have compiled the cost of the damage to their property and is asking the Nigerian govt to do something about their properties and not heir lives.
Lawmakers in the lower house passed a motion on Thursday to recall the Nigerian ambassador to South Africa for consultations over the attacks. But an amendment calling for Nigeria to sever diplomatic ties with South Africa was defeated.
The MPs also debated whether to use existing legislation to put pressure on South African businesses in Nigeria if the attacks continued.
However, Nigerian masses seem to believe that the government is not doing enough to secure the live of its citizens who are in refugee camps in South Africa. Nigerian youth, under the aegis of Concerned Nigerians against Xenophobia, on Thursday threatened to picket South African companies in Nigeria if the xenophobic attacks in South Africa is not stopped.
At a peaceful protest at the South African Embassy in Lagos on Thursday, the leader of the youth, Segun Tomori, described the attacks as uncalled for stressing that Nigeria and other African countries assisted the country during the apartheid.
In a more violent act, a Nigerian man has broken his MTN sim card since MTN is indigenous to South Africa, while another is threatening to break his DSTV decoder.
The National Association of Nigerian Students (NANS), has given the South African Government a seven-day ultimatum to stop the xenophobic attacks on Nigerians and other Africans resident in that country or else, they will retaliate in the same vein.
A call spearheaded by John Kapito, executive director of the Consumers Association of Malawi (CAMA) has urged the people of Malawi to stop buying South African goods and services. He was quoted as saying:
“We’re urging Malawians to boycott all South African shops and goods. We’re giving them one week to close their shops. On Friday next week we will physically close all South African shops like Shoprite and Game, if they don’t close on their own. If they don’t want us in their country, we don’t want their goods here too.”
Billy Mayaya, an activist in the capital, Lilongwe, has said that there is street demonstration planned for next Tuesday, where protesters will deliver a petition to the South African High Commission – two days after the government plans to begin the repatriation of some of its citizens from South Africa.