xenophobia.jpgThe Congress of South African Trade Unions – Cosatu – has urged South Africans not to blame fellow Africans for their problems, following threats of renewed xenophobic attacks.


“No matter how bad living conditions are, there can be no excuse for blaming fellow Africans for the country’s and the continent’s economic failures,” the union federation’s general-secretary, Zwelinzima Vavi, told journalists at Cosatu House, Johannesburg.



“It would be a tragedy, after the display of African unity in support of the Ghana football team, to see foreigners being made scapegoats for the lack of service delivery in our communities.”


Vavi said foreigners were not the cause of the country’s problems, but “fellow victims of our unjust and unequal economic system”.


Cosatu on Wednesday announced a declaration of commitment to maintain the high standards achieved during the FIFA World Cup. It included doing everything possible to prevent a new outbreak of xenophobic violence.


On Sunday night a number of foreign-owned shops in Cape Town and surrounding towns were burned and looted.


The government undertook to do anything possible to prevent attacks, but fell short of admitting it was possible for them to recur.


In 2008, 62 people were killed in xenophobic attacks and thousands were displaced.


So the question remains: Who is to blame for the xenophobia that seems to have found its permanent abode in South Africa?


Should Zimbabweans suffer for taking South African jobs? What should the relevant authorities do to nip this ugly phenomenon in the bud?