The South African professional footballers union (SAFPU) and both male and female players of the national teams of South Africa have condemned in no uncertain terms the xenophobic violence which has accounted for the death of foreigners in some part of the country.
Authorities say ten people have died from an outbreak of xenophobic attacks against foreigners, notably immigrants from DR Congo, Ethiopia, Malawi, Mozambique, Somalia and Zimbabwe. Thousands of peoples have already vacated their homes/or businesses in the territories 2010 World Cup and 2013 Africa Cup of Nations hosts.
In an emotional statement issued on Tuesday, SAFPU, with the support of members of Bafana Bafana and Bayana Bayana, “appealed for a stop in violence against innocent African brothers and sisters from neighbouring countries.”
“Our national teams are appalled b y these senseless attacks on our defenseless African brothers and sisters,” the statement said.
South Africa has an ugly history of social violence and racism stemming from the Apartheid era. The immigrants, whose countries contributed to the liberation of South Africa as a democratic state, have been accused of taking jobs and opportunities away from the local people, and as a result caused the high rate of unemployment and poverty in the country.
The statement added: “It is sad for South Africa when we see our brothers and sisters from other countries being attacked, killed and injured in our communities and streets. This is not the South Africa and democracy we fought for against the perpetrators of Apartheid.”
I was once a foreigner at Leeds. pic.twitter.com/NGG26plar3
— Lucas Radebe (@LucasRadebe) April 21, 2015
“We of course know what the root cause of the high levels of unemployment, poverty and inequalities are. They are by no means our brothers and sisters from neither continent nor everywhere else, but the capitalist system that doesn’t ensure that those who work in the economy are able to share what they produce.
“It is time that as citizens of the world in particular Africans we stand together and fight all these challenges that have resulted in us fighting against each other, in us leaving our countries or better lives elsewhere. It is time that we fight for the Africa we all want and the only way is to choose the leadership that we think will give us the Africa we all want.
“Let us stand together in unison and ensure that we hold our leaders to account and ensure that peoples’ lives and wellbeing are at the centre.
“Let us fight together fight together against the evil of social destruction. Away with hatred and fear. Down with racism and xenophobia. We are one.”