Zulu King fuels SA xenophobia

Drive foreigners out, Zwelithini declares

Xenophobic mob

Xenophobic mob

Auxilia Katongomara Chronicle Reporter
ZIMBABWEANS living in South Africa now fear fresh xenophobic attacks after recent remarks by a Zulu king calling for the deportation of all foreigners living in the country.

According to South African media reports, Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini called for the deportation of foreigners in the neighbouring country, saying it was unacceptable for locals to compete with people from other countries for the few economic opportunities available.

Addressing Pongolo community members during a moral regeneration event on Friday, Zwelithini accused the government of failing to protect locals from the “influx of foreign nationals”.

“When you walk in the street you cannot recognise a shop that you used to know because it has been taken over by foreigners, who then mess it up by hanging amanikiniki (rags),” he said.

“Most government leaders don’t want to speak out on this matter because they are scared of losing votes. “As the King of the Zulu nation, I cannot tolerate a situation where we’re being led by leaders with no views whatsoever.

“We’re requesting those who come from outside to please go back to their countries,” Zwelithini said.

“The fact that there were countries that played a role in the country’s struggle for liberation should not be used as an excuse to create a situation where foreigners are allowed to inconvenience locals.

“I know you were in their countries during the struggle for liberation. But the fact of the matter is you didn’t set up businesses in their countries,” he said.

Zimbabwe Exiles forum director who is also a South Africa-based human rights lawyer, Gabriel Shumba, described remarks by King Zwelithini as reckless and uncalled for.

“Politicians are the ones who cause xenophobic attacks because we will not be surprised if tomorrow more Zimbabweans are hanged or killed because of such reckless talk. Such sentiments are coming at a time when foreigners are being attacked here in South Africa and this can only fuel more attacks,” said Shumba.

He said South Africans faced isolation and hatred by fellow Africans due to xenophobic attacks and ill-treatment of foreigners.

“This is exactly why South Africans will never be loved by Africans because when they were fighting apartheid, Africa we stood by them but now they think the infrastructure which is there means they must kick out everybody who is a foregner,” said Shumba.

He said it was unfortunate that foreigners were blamed for all sorts of crimes in the neighbouring country.

Efforts to get a comment from Home Affairs Minister Kembo Mohadi were fruitless as he was unreachable on his mobile phone.

Associations representing Somalis and DRC nationals also condemned Zwelithini for his statements.

Somali Association of South Africa (SASA) chairman Ismail Ahmed said the statements could spark violence that would cause irreparable damage to the relationship between South Africans and the rest of Africa.

Shako Kuminga, who represents the Congolese in Durban, said the king’s statement came while Congolese nationals were mourning deaths caused by a series of xenophobic attacks.

Remarks by King Zwelithini were made against the backdrop of rising tensions between foreign nationals and locals in the wake of recent xenophobic attacks in the country.

According to reports, renewed xenophobic attacks began in Soweto, Gauteng, in January and later spread to KwaZulu-Natal, where they have claimed three lives so far.

Xenophobic motivated attacks continue to rear their ugly head in South Africa and Zimbabweans, especially in Limpopo and Gauteng provinces have been on the receiving end.

Of late Zimbabweans living in areas in Vhembe district in Limpopo province have been the subject of ridicule and blame for crime with locals taking it upon themselves to “weed out” foreigners blaming them for “fuelling” crime in the area.

Last week, a Zimbabwean woman wrongly accused of killing a young boy, was lynched by an angry mob in a shanty town near the South African capital, Pretoria.

The woman was burnt alive while another man, also from Zimbabwe, managed to escape after police intervened, officials said on Tuesday.

The Zimbabwean pair had been accused of bewitching the boy. A probe later revealed that the boy had been electrocuted.

In May 2008, 62 foreigners in Alexandra Township in Johannesburg were brutally killed during xenophobic attacks and thousands were displaced.

Their homes were also destroyed and looted during the attacks, which subsequently spread to other parts of the country.

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  • Seles

    Not really my friend. Whilst I do not support xenophobia, I agree with the king that we should stick at home and assist with improving whatever needs improving. There is no use running away from what you do not approve of and expect others to correct a wrong on your behalf. Come back home and influence the change that you wish to see.
    I know I have deliberately torched a storm but whilst we discuss this issue, please leave insults out of it and employ reason.

  • MehlokaMthwakazi

    Shaka the Zulu King might be arising from the dead to drive everybody out of SA , very bad that not only the foreigners can be affected but even the locals can be mistakenly killed as that once happened . A Zulu man will never make a difference between a Zulu and those who doesn’t speak thier language , like Sotho , Venda, Shangani etc , as long as you don’t speak their language you might be a victim of this call .
    As Africans we need to have an alternative way forward , the first question is why do we have millions of people flocking down to SA from other African countries ???? It is very bad for the SA people to stand for this influx , they have realised how difficult it is to be in competion with the foreigners .
    Zimbabweans have turned Hillbrow to be another Bulawayo/Harare , where is the problem , political leaders of Zim have failed the people of their own country , now here comes the Zulu king with a huge wave to wash everybody out . Zimbabweans must prepare a demonstration against ZANU PF and its leadership , the Zulu king is concerned about his people who are running short of jobs , the liberation of SA which involved us taking part cannot be a solid reason for the billions of people even babies to flock down to SA , indeed that canot be an excuse , the fact is that we need to change the face of leadership and the government of our country -ZANU PF must be out .

  • Tawanda

    Well,well,well. Somebody has said something everyone hates to say. The truth is SA supports dictators like Mugabe. Like it or not, then the country enjoys no economic development. The result is people then flock to where they can get food; now competing with the locals. Put yourselves in SA shoes, then you will realize there is justification for the opinion to drive foreigners out. The xenophobic attacks are a result of poor management of Africa. Unfortunately the innocent will suffer while Bob globe trots!

    • zulu boy

      Dont blame SA for your misfortunes, someone should remind this Shumba guy about the treatment ANC and MK guys recieved in Zimbabwe,many MK solders were killed by the Zimbabwe government in 80s, some were arrested those who luck skipped the border to South Africa because they had no option when Mugabe was still your hero even Thabo Mbeki was harrased and arrested in Harare until he left Zimbabwe

  • Rusere

    well if zanupf can chase whites and ndebeles away then the king can chase foreigners away too…blame the game.

    • Jotham

      No whites or Ndebeles have ever been chased away – your old historical lunacy(Dabengwa – Zapu theory) has created a dodo out of the.

      • zulu boy

        We have been chased away you, go to bulawayo today or any other place its only shonas who are working in government policies, you hatred for dabengwa is emabarassing

  • Namo

    Actually in our hearts of hearts we know the king in correct. There is just so much any nation, including South Africa, can do. How many foreign nationals can they accommodate honestly when they also are competing fro limited resources? The blame should be going back to the foreign governments and their leaders,where all these people are coming from. During liberation South Africans never went to other people’s countries in droves that we see happening to their country now. These people should save themselves from the marauding predator brigade of leaders masquerading
    as liberators. Like the great author Chinua Achebe said, Africa is still a
    colony, not under the whites, but under their very own people posing as leaders
    and liberators. “They are worse than the white colonial masters” he said. We have seen poor Zimbabweans migrating into neighboring countries as well as all over the world at any cost, crossing
    crocodile infested rivers and subjected to inhuman conditions in
    their host countries, just to escape poverty, hunger and persecution from
    these so called liberators. Everyday Zimbabweans are looking for opportunities even in
    tiny islands all over the world-Trinidad Tobago, Papua New Guinea etc and I
    guess even in Haiti (you will find a Zimbabwean), all over the pacific ocean just to run away from poverty and economic hardship.

    • zulu boy

      This is very true all these people should go back to their countries, now there are more than 10million foreigners in SA

  • zulu boy

    What the king is very true, illegal immigrants must go back to their own countries, we cannot have a situation where by people vote for dictators and then run down south to enjoy democracy, most of the Zimbabweans down south say rubbish about South Africans, they say they are lazy to work

  • musa

    why should south africans suffer because of liberation history? that king is right.

    • Jotham

      Ulilema nxaha lendoda.

      • zulu boy

        Dont blame SA for your misfortunes, someone should remind this Shumba guy about the treatment ANC and MK guys recieved in Zimbabwe,many MK solders were killed by the Zimbabwe government in 80s, some were arrested those who luck skipped the border to South Africa because they had no option when Mugabe was still your hero even Thabo Mbeki was harrased and arrested in Harare until he left Zimbabwe

      • musa

        whatever jotham!

  • zulu boy

    Mugabe belongs to the stone age, the king love his people he should defend them, deal with it or leave with it

  • Proff

    The King is justified in some way but then doing it out of violence would be another thing.Lets be frank SA has too many foreigners thus if we talk of job security and livelihood most of the locals feel threatned because of the number of these foreigner owned shops. Who wouldnt want to economically uplift their own people to have access to the resources in their land. Zimbos have to fix their own issues at home and do something because at this level of such talk more lives will be lost in SA.

  • zulu boy

    These people must go back please even their blind you find them in the streets

  • Jotham

    He is insulting his fellow men that he is supposed to protect so as to get a reward from the Pink pigs.

  • Tshobalempisi

    This was an example of two well known who married across national boundaries which you claimed limit the freedom of association! Obviously the import of this example was lost to you Pullman. You wanna pull everyone down on this forum by your shallow reasoning!