Category : Latest Blogs
Travelling through the city this week on the way to interview potential new staff, the streets felt empty. The reason – xenophobia! In a mid-March speech the King of the Zulu nation declared foreigners should be forced to go home by April 1st as they rob local’s of opportunities to create wealth. Despite the King since claiming he was misquoted, there are calls for the International Criminal Court to investigate him for inciting xenophobic attacks.
Violence has left Durban deserted. At our April staff meeting, Thabile shared some of the consequences for inner city trading – as the main targets of attacks, foreign owned businesses have disappeared along with any funds these foreigners once reinvested in the city. One wonders if locals ever considered this before wielding their fighting sticks and machetes.
In a separate, but related, incident at the University of Cape Town, a statue of Sir Cecil John Rhodes was removed after protests. Students were aggrieved that Rhodes’ pursuit of wealth and his dream of a British Empire stretching from the Cape to Cairo – a blueprint for Apartheid – exploited black Africans. The fact that on Rhodes death (1853 – 1902), he also bequeathed the University land and scholarships was curiously overlooked in most protests. Much closer to home, the Economic Freedom Fighters, a political party whose leader has sung songs about shooting whites, began land grabbing in Ballito in mid-April.
Rather than filled with fear, I just feel a sad emptiness.
After finding safety in temporary refugee camps throughout Durban, thousands of foreigners – mainly black Africans – have decided things are so bad they’d rather risk returning to their country of origin. Which in my opinion, leaves us with a country that’s less diverse and more empty – a shadow of its former self.
Pray for our global conference from 11th to 15th May, especially since approximately one third of delegates are from countries bordering South Africa – #CALL2CJ