Press Statement for Immediate Release; 25 June 2010
on Xenophobic Threats after the FIFA World Cup
The FIFA 2010 World Cup has commenced since 11 June 2010 in South Africa and proceeded appreciatively surpassing worldly expectations. As President Jacob Zuma said »South Africa is the stage, Africa is the theatre«. The world has been waiting this moment with much anticipation.
LETSEMA CENTRE for Development and Democracy has observed media reports elevating rumours to possible or renewed threats or targeted attacks anticipated immediately after the FIFA 2010 World Cup and aimed at discriminating and hurting foreign nationals, especially those from other African countries living or working in most rural and informal settlements across South Africa.
LETSEMA CENTRE for Development and Democracy takes this opportunity to unequivocally condemn all sorts of violent threats targeting worldly people in general, and any such related to xenophobia targeting Africans in particular. To this end, South Africa has proved undoubtedly most capable as a host country, itself as a developing nation, almost outsmarting many of previous first world hosts in all respects and aspects pertaining not only to soccer, but as amongst the most attractive world tourist destination.
LETSEMA CENTRE for Development and Democracy is therefore convinced that any such Xenophobic threats or attacks discriminating against fellow human beings irrespective of any king of local concern, must never ever be tolerated by any community and government but rather be met with the utmost legal force and public condemnation it deserves. It is obvious that sponsored rumours related to xenophobia serve unknown motives or faceless beneficiaries, worrisomely at the expense of the undisputed successes of the FIFA World Cup.
LETSEMA CENTRE for Development and Democracy herewith remind all and sundry that South Africa is an enduring constitutional democracy with serious human rights reputation, and those who are hell bent to discredit this progressive mother land must themselves be isolated as lunatics and criminals. Local communities must close ranks with community-based organizations and municipalities to ensure that no human being get unfairly victimized simply because they were born or live in different geographic borders.
LETSEMA CENTRE for Development and Democracy remains committed to work with all progressives locally and elsewhere to defend and advance human rights struggles for all people. The authorities must never hesitate to get to the bottom of these ugly threats in defense of human rights for all. LETSEMA CENTRE calls upon local South Africans never to be used by opportunistic criminal elements.
The FIFA 2010 World Cup will forever represent the ultimate victory for Africa's role on world stage and nothing including xenophobic threats must detract all progressive people, especially Africans, from the ongoing tasks of developing local communities and democratizing societies. Just like apartheid, Xenophobia is a sin against humanity, and must be defeated through activism inspired especially by African Ubuntu.
LETSEMA CENTRE for Development and Democracy finally wishes all countries progressing into final legs of the exciting world soccer tournament all best and successes. Undoubtedly, the closing ceremony and final matches promises a thriller of all time competitive football. May the best country-team win! Congratulations to South Africans for demonstrating the highest standards of hosting the worldly people. Nothing, including xenophobic threats will disrupt or erode the successes associated with the 2010 soccer.
For more enquiries on this media statement, please do not hesitate to contact:
Paul Vilakazi (Senior Research Associate)
Mobile: +27(0)73 654 8785
Molefe Modise (Managing Director)
Mobile: +27(0)84 398 1100