We have be­trayed our own dream of a United Africa

Grocott's Mail - - #BRING BACK OUR FRIENDS -

I write with my head bowed down in shame be­cause what is hap­pen­ing (xeno­pho­bia), does not need to take place.

It is as if we have be­trayed our own dream of “A United Africa.” It is as if we have de­ceived our­selves when we said “um­ntu ngum­ntu nga­bantu” (a per­son is per­son be­cause of other peo­ple).

Every­thing that I know about my past has been shaken by this hor­ren­dous act. The teach­ings of Tiyo Soga, J. G Xaba, Pix­cley Seme and many oth­ers have fallen away. The masses who have pos­i­tively re­sponded well to the PanAfrican mes­sage of the old lib­er­a­tion move­ments of our con­ti­nent, the African Na­tional Congress and all po­lit­i­cal par­ties are not xeno­pho­bic. In other words, none in our midst had any right to en­cour­age or incite xeno­pho­bia, by try­ing to ex­plain naked crim­i­nal ac­tiv­ity by cloak­ing it in the garb of xeno­pho­bia.

What hap­pened in the past few days has be­trayed the dreams of many gen­er­a­tions, in­clud­ing our own.

Here I want to con­vey to all Africans and to all African na­tions and to the fam­i­lies of peo­ple who were dis­placed, threat­ened and as­saulted, our sin­cere and heart­felt apolo­gies that Africans in our city com­mit­ted un­par­don­able crimes against other Africans.

We write with pain that our fel­low hu­man be­ing are quar­an­tined some­where, sep­a­rated from the African com­mu­ni­ties in which they lived peace­fully as fel­low Africans, un­til the dark days of last week de­scended with­out warn­ing upon us.

Maybe this takes us to an­other pledge, and we should make a vow that we shall do every­thing in our power to as­sist the vic­tims of th­ese crim­i­nal at­tacks in or­der that they are able to re­sume their nor­mal lives.

The word “xeno­pho­bia” means a deep an­tipa­thy or ha­tred of for­eign­ers. Our busi­ness as the Depart­ment and the Gra­ham­stown Dis­trict Of­fice is to see that teach­ing takes place and there is or­der in our schools.

The noble spirit of our busi­ness is to teach, man­age and mon­i­tor teach­ing in our dis­trict.

Th­ese ten­den­cies are threat­en­ing that busi­ness. Per­haps we shall not cease to pray and say: “Nkosi sikelel’ i-Africa” (God bless Africa). • Amos Fet­sha is the di­rec­tor in the Gra­ham­stown Dis­trict of­fice of the East­ern Cape Depart­ment of Ed­u­ca­tion

Amos Fet­sha

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