Xenophobia in South Africa. #ProsecuteAndApologize

Xenophobia is the unreasoned fear of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange. Xenophobia can manifest itself in many ways involving the relations and perceptions of an ingroup towards an outgroup, including a fear of losing identity, suspicion of its activities, aggression, and desire to eliminate its presence to secure a presumed purity – Wikipedia.

The recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa is one that has attracted strong condemnation from lots of African countries and the International community at large. The pertinent question however is, what has been done by the government of the day apart from issuing apologies? What happened to prosecutions? What happened to the million laws against murder and disruption of public peace? Is tendering an apology a substitute for state action against crime?

South Africa has unfortunately been selective in its choice of countries to even apologize to. Up till now, Nigeria hasn’t received any of such apologies, even though such an apology isn’t a substitute for arrests and prosecutions to forestall similar occurrences in future.

Of what use is this belated apology being tendered, albeit selectively anyway? Foreigners have been killed while those who perpetrated the crime are still walking freely on the streets of South Africa. Is this what we call citizen protection?Is there any reason not to believe the government of the day tacitly supported the action against foreigners by not making arrests and prosecution of people involved in xenophobic attacks? Is it not a covert support enmeshed in nonchalance to ensure most, if not all foreigners return to their home countries? These are questions begging for answers based on the strong signals South Africa is sending lately.

Nigeria does not need any apology in my opinion, if prosecutions won’t take place. I don’t understand why we are even asking for one anyway. Do we treat our own fellow Nigerians well? Aren’t we also highly tribalistic, segregated and myopic? When you don’t treat your own right, any nation can treat them wrongly, so we are also less justified to an extent.

NEVERTHELESS, perpetrators of crimes, especially those leading to loss of lives can’t keep walking freely. It is injustice of the highest order, it is dangerous to peaceful coexistence, can culminate into reprisal attacks anytime, anywhere in the not too distant future (even in generations yet unborn since they can read creating a chain reaction) and it is against the basic tenets of human existence.

Please tell the government of South Africa to prosecute, not just apologize #ApologizeAndProsecute

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