There’s no disguising the anger

South African attacks on fellow Africans have reached epidemic proportions. Xenophobia has left homes and shops trashed and at least five people dead.

Videos showing the destruction have been widely shared across Africa.

The Chairman of the Somali Community in South Africa demanded that the South African government intervenes to stop the attacks.

“When South Africans needed the assistance of Africa, they were all assisted….When Nigerian became independent, they gave support. Ghana gave them support. Mandela was trained to use a gun by an Ethiopian…Zimbabwe, Mozambique all suffered because they were frontline states. We are not foreigners in an African land.

“Not all Nigerians are drug dealers…all Mozambiquans are bad…not all Zimbabweans are car highjackers….Ethiopians, Somalais Bangladeshis and Pakistanis run descent businesses. Every day they are under constant intimidation and attack of their businesses. Forget the ethnic divisions.

‘We are not foreigners in an African land’.

Africans have had enough. Now they are hitting back

There are protests planned in Nigeria.

As scheduled, NANS, Oyo State protested the the xenophobia attacks on Nigerians in South Africa by marching from Mokola Roundabout to the Federal Secretariat, Ikolaba, Ibadan which we placed on lock down for hours.

There are cultural boycotts by artists

“Nigeria is the King of Afro Pop. Tiwa, Burna, Wizkid and other won’t come to South Africa again.”

South Africa has had to temporarily close its missions in Nigeria.

Sporting ties have been cut

It was announced that Madagascar had withdrawn from their friendly against Bafana Bafana on Saturday…

They were a replacement by Zambia, but they have also pulled out citing the attacks on foreigners and foreign owned shops in South Africa.

But South Africans are furious too

Bongani Mkongi, deputy Minister of Police, went on Television, accusing foreign Africans of taking over Hillbrow, in the centre of Johannesburg.

“How can a city in South Africa be 80% foreign nationals. That is dangerous.”

“In Hillbrow and surrounding areas, South Africans have surrendered their own city to the foreign nationals.

You won’t find South Africans in other countries dominating a city to 80%. The whole of South Afroca could be dominated by foreigh nationals…

We are surrendering our land. It is not xenophobia. We fought for our land from the white minority, we cannot surrender it to the foreign nationals…The arms that are being used here in hillbrow are arms of war…The hijacking of buildings in Hillbrow is a sign of taking over power.

The question of the dominance of foreign nationals in illegal trading and also businesses that are here in Hillbrow is economic sabotage that is taking place against our people, that are supposed to be running those businesses.”

This has left Africans asking whether the xenophobic attacks are South African government policy.

“This man is the Deputy Minister of Police in South Africa. It can’t be hard to wonder who is funding and supporting the attacks. Some South African police officers are currently being investigated for crimes against Nigerians. Is Xenophobia backed by the SA government?”

Now evidence has emerged that the xenophobic attacks may, indeed, have been sanctioned at some level of the South African government.

As the South African Mail & Guardian reported:

“The latest outbreak of mob violence and xenophobia was allegedly orchestrated by members of the All Truck Drivers Forum (ATDF), which held mass meetings that went into last weekend in different parts of Gauteng.

The Mail & Guardian has reliably learned that intelligence agencies — which sent a briefing note last week Friday to the Justice, Crime Prevention and Security cluster (JCPS), chaired by Defence Minister Nosiviwe Mapisa-Nqakula — have been investigating the forum’s involvement.

The cluster consists of the ministries of police, home affairs, state security, justice and constitutional development, as well as the National Prosecuting Authority.

High-ranking security officials have also discussed the political motivations behind the flare-up in violence, with theories that the violence was part of a campaign to embarrass and ultimately destabilise the presidency of Cyril Ramaphosa.

Despite the intelligence and warnings, these parts of the cluster failed to prevent the violent attacks and the burning and looting of shops in Jeppestown on Sunday night and into Monday morning.”

These are worrying times, both for Africans living in South Africa, and for South Africans themselves.