As the recent violence has spread to Cape Town
, I think a number of lessons can be learnt.
1) The army should have been sent in on the first day of the violence in Gauteng
, both to protect the innocent Zimbabweans, Mozambicans, Nigerians, Somalians and other immigrants and to crush the attackers. In all likelihood, the mobs would have dispersed at the first sight of a serious military presence on the streets.
2) The South Africans are no more racist than anybody else - and this isn't really about race
. It's about a 'government of the people' failing to provide what it promised to, and allowing rampant xenophobia to spread across the poor sections of society to suit their own political needs.
3) One crisis in the region (i.e. Zimbabwe) has huge ramifications across the regions, and if Africa's leaders are to solve the continent's problems they have to take serious actions to tackle the likes of Mugabe and Omar Hasan al-Bashir
, rather than hide under the false spectre of opposition to a colonialism that is no longer relevant to African society.
4) Thabo Mbeki has lost all credibility, whilst the alternative
talks the talk but walks a decidedly different walk
5) This kind of think doesn't generally just spring up on its own, someone had to be organising and planning this. As far as I can see, the whole thing has echoes of Rwanda. A proper investigation is needed to determine who is responsible.