The consul general of South Africa High Commission in Lagos State, Ambassador Mokgethi Monalisa has condemned the recent xenophobic attacks in South Africa, stressing that it cannot be justified as there were policy programmes to protect South Africans from external economic marginalisation.
He further stated that a lack of awareness was one of the factors to blame for the attacks as gthose perpetrating them were extremely frustrated people who were mentally incapacitated to appropriate available opportunities.
Mokgethi pointed out that: “When you as an African leave your country to go to another country, there is something more unique about you as an individual, you are likely to be more entrepreneurial, and when you arrive that country, you will extremely determine to succeed, you can’t afford to fail.
“Therefore, that zeal in you will move you to get something started. All these, when you put side by side with a typical African who does not have such orientation, he will feel he is being short-changed. It is a mental situation that is not really good, if a lady who is weaving, opens a shop and a South African says the lady is taking her business, to be honest, it is not in order. One thing they have to understand is that it is a world of competition. Therefore, what they need to do is to open their own shops.”
According to Mokgethi, it is not easy for foreigners to even get jobs in South Africa: “People talk about foreigners taking jobs, it is not easy, in South Africa you need your papers, you need your work permit and so many things you are going to put in place before you can get a job, it is unthinkable for someone to start saying foreigners are taking his job. Even the economic empowerment program that exists is there to protect South Africans.
“So I believe that what you see is the outcome of frustrated people who don’t know what to do next, if it is not the foreigners that they are going to attack, they will attack the police or some other group of people. So I don’t think that it is an issue that is supposed to shake our system. South Africans do need to educate South Africans in the role that the entire African continent played in their own case and learn how to respect other Africans and appreciate that other Africans have a role to play in the development of their country, diversity is what makes a country to grow.
“I think one thing is clear the xenophobic attack is totally unacceptable, there is nowhere in the world that such thing will be accepted. Somebody went as far as describing it as someone having a phobia for something and when that happen, you have to stay away from that thing, he went further to say that when you begin to attack people and take people’s life in that process is like a form of genocide.
“But having said that, I believe that genuinely, the Nigerian and South African government do have to work together because what we have in south Africa Is a certain kind of society that is very distraught, they are suffering from the adverse effect of a very poor economic system, which is the result of the failure of South African government, people are extremely frustrated.”