Press briefing of the Socialist Party on the xenophobia in South Africa and attacks on assets and businesses belonging to South African companies
By Fred M’membe on behalf of the Politburo of Socialist Party
Garden Compound, Lusaka
The barbarism going on in South Africa must be condemned in the strongest terms and those responsible brought to book immediately. But it cannot be answered with barbarism, with criminal acts of destroying assets, businesses belonging to South African companies.
We all have every right to be angered by the xenophobic attacks on fellow Africans being carried out by ignorant and criminal elements in that country.
But the distressing xenophobic attacks we are seeing in South Africa should not turn us into animals.
We therefore urge all our leaders, political or otherwise, to avoid inflammatory statements that can easily encourage weak souls to resort to criminal acts against South Africans, their assets and businesses in this country.
The challenges of unemployment, poverty, hunger, ignorance and disease facing our people on this continent cannot be solved through violence, counter violence or vengeance. There’s no sense to revenge. On whom are you taking revenge? History? The apartheid society that engendered these monsters? What are you avenging?
It is possible to denounce xenophobia without preaching hatred, vengeance.
We who are revolutionaries, socialists, Christians don’t preach hatred, vengeance.
What we preach is the repudiation, rejection, and hatred of xenophobia and the system that breeds it, that is neoliberal capitalism.
We cannot be preaching hatred among human beings, because in the final analysis human beings are victims of the system.
Anyone who engages in criminal acts in the name of avenging the xenophobic attacks going on in South Africa should be arrested and prosecuted as an outright criminal.
Situations like these call for cool headedness, sober mindedness and not recklessness. They call for strong and clear leadership in all the affected countries, for a strong application of law and order.