Pandemonium broke throughout the suburbs of Johannesburg in South African and other areas of the country on 1st September after a xenophobic attack was launched on foreign-owned businesses in the country. The irate youth accused foreigners of stealing their jobs and they were seen in groups, destroying foreign-owned business and carting away goods from vandalized shops. They also latched out on foreigners thus setting malls and individuals alike ablaze.
South Africa is known for her history of xenophobic attacks by black citizens who accused people of other African descendants and Asians of coming to steal their jobs. As of 2008, about 62 people were reported to have died as a result of this attack and also in 2015 many African migrants were displaced. In an anti-migrant match in 2017 at her capital Pretoria, the citizens accused migrants especially Nigerians of being irascible and churlish to them. In response to the accusation, Nigerians defended by saying that South African citizens were envious of their industrious nature.
Although Nigeria president Muhammadu Buhari has commented on the ongoing mayhem by saying:
‘‘I am sending a Special Envoy to President Ramaphosa to share our deep concern about the security of Nigerian lives and property in South Africa, and to ensure that the South African Government is doing everything within its power in this regard”,
Nigerians feel it is not good enough considering the level of destruction and attacks lashed out on her citizens. Many think that the South African Ambassador to Nigeria should have been summoned, the citizen should be airlifted and South African owned businesses in Nigeria like MTN, Shoprite, DSTV should be bought over by indigenous companies.
The South African president, Cyril Ramaphosa, however, has condemned the attack in ways possible.
He said, ‘‘I condemn the violence that has been spreading around a number of our provinces in the strongest terms. ’There can be no justification for any South African to attack people from other countries.’
Ramaphosa has also conveyed a meeting with his security chief to strategies on how to arrest the upheaval.
Also, the African Union Commission chief Moussa Faki Mahamat has joined the number of organizations condemning the xenophobic attack on foreigners in South Africa. According to Mahamat, ‘’ I reiterate AUC’s continued commitment to support the South African government in addressing the root causes that led to these despicable acts, to promote peace and stability.’
Also, South African popular comedian Trevor Noah has kicked against the Xenophobic attack in a tweet on Tuesday 3rd September 2019.
He wrote: “So when I hear South Africans claiming that other Africans are competing with them on dwindling/scarce resources, I say that your anger and outrage is misplaced. I don’t see fellow Africans as a competitor but a fellow compatriot who is struggling to feed his family and have some in this short lifetime.” Trevor asserts that migrants only share 0.0001 percent of the countries while 85% is controlled by white South Africans.
Nigerians including her celebrities have taken to their social media accounts to speak against the attack on Nigerians and foreigners in South African. The hashtag #Xenophobia #SayNoToXenophobia, #XenophobicAttack has taken over cyberspace especially twitter since the onslaught. Some Nigerians have also launched reprisal attacks on South African owned businesses in Nigeria and the Nigerian government has also boycotted the World Economic submit beginning today in South Africa. Several African countries and celebrities have pulled out of events in South Africa since the launch of attacks on foreigners