Members of the Gallery,
Comrades and Friends.
Hon. Speaker, today I would like to reflect on the possible consequences of xenophobic attacks in this country. The general excepted definition of Xenophobia which is also used by the South African Human Rights Commission is ‘the deep dislike of non-nationals by nationals of a recipient state”. Xenophobia is also a manifestation of racism. Racism and xenophobia support each other and they share prejudiced discourses. They both operate on the same basis of profiling people and making negative assumptions. The profiling in the case of racism is on the basis of race, in the case of xenophobia on the basis of nationality.
Hon. Members, it has only been 22 years since the International Community lifted their sanctions against South Africa due to the Apartheid regime discarding their inequality laws. It is not only due the discriminating laws that South Africa was sanctioned but also the Human Rights violations by the protectors of the Apartheid regime. Today we are facing a dire situation where xenophobic outbreaks occur in our communities. Against our own brothers and sisters who opened their doors to for the ANC comrades during the Apartheid years.
Hon. Speaker, we as the elected leaders from our respective parties, needs to unite as we are the representatives of our people. I urge the opposition parties not to use this situation of Xenophobia as a means to claim that “the ANC government is failing to deal with Xenophobic attacks”, rather unite and educate the community on the consequences of their actions.
Hon. Members South Africa does not operate in isolation. We are part of a global community which depends on each other. Let us as South Africans not bring shame to our leaders who have sacrificed their lives to ensure that we live in a peaceful and equal society.