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Xenophobia: violence must stop

THE looting of shops in Soweto belonging to foreign nationals made headlines for the past couple of weeks. This looting was in retaliation of a teenage boy who was allegedly shot by a foreign shop owner. These incidents of looting later moved to other parts of Gauteng, most recently, Pretoria.

THE looting of shops in Soweto belonging to foreign nationals made headlines for the past couple of weeks. This looting was in retaliation of a teenage boy who was allegedly shot by a foreign shop owner. These incidents of looting later moved to other parts of Gauteng, most recently, Pretoria.

Express asked residents how they felt about the xenophobia and looting.

Thabang Poopedi said he found the situation absurd and did not understand why there was so much hatred between South Africans and foreign nationals.

“We live on the same continent, we need to make peace with each other and we can’t chase them away.” He said South Africans needed to reconcile with foreign nationals before things got worse.

Tumelo Maja said even though they were not South Africans by birth, some foreign nationals have been in the country for years and they worked hard to make a decent living.

“Many foreigners own small business to make money. They left their countries because the situation was unbearable to survive and they wanted to live in better conditions.”

Martin Moshimanyane said South Africans were lazy to start their own businesses and were furious at foreign nationals who had done well for themselves. He said looting was wrong and the law must take its course on those who were found guilty.

“We must respect one another regardless of our nationality because we are living in one country. If our country experiences some sort of dilemma, we will also be forced to move to other states and no can tolerate such bad treatment.”

Lebogang Chokoe said these xenophobic attacks gave South Africa a bad reputation. She said it had to stop before it spread to other provinces.

“I am concerned with the way we are treating each other. This is unacceptable, our nation has turned into monsters that are beating and stealing from foreigners.” She said if this was the kind of behaviour we wished to pass on to the next generation, then no one is really free because it is just a matter of time before we start fighting against our own.

Jacob Rameetse said no one deserved this kind of treatment because we were all created in God’s image.

“As Africans, we must welcome whoever finds comfort in our country and wished to stay here. It is important that we practise democracy and freedom that South Africa is known for by respecting foreign nationals.”

Sara Maleka said those who were found guilty of violating the rights of foreign nationals should serve jail time.

“A harsh punishment will teach others a lesson and hopefully put a stop to all of this. We need to find other ways of dealing with problems and find solutions which will accommodate everyone living in this country.”

Malesela Monyepe said we needed to pray as a nation so that we could prevent this evil behaviour.

“People who are looting from foreign nationals must be punished because what they are doing is wrong. As humans, we must treat each other equally and most importantly, with dignity.”

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