Kayode Akinbo Written by Kayode Akinbo · 2 min read >

South Africa the country at the southernmost tip of Africa has become a center of African excellence, with a population of over 60 million people; South Africa has progressed from the old colony of the British apartheid regime into the present-day African state led by President Cyril Ramaphosa. South Africa has the second-largest economy in Africa after Nigeria, the country operates a mixed economy, it also has a relatively high gross domestic product (GDP) per capita compared to other countries in sub-Saharan Africa (US$11,750 at purchasing power parity as of 2012). Despite this, South Africa is still burdened by a relatively high rate of poverty and unemployment.

     Being the 23rd most populous country in the world with a population of 80% black ethnic population of 47 million people, history has shown that black south African’s have not being very welcoming towards other African’s in South Africa, the country has seen an influx of African’s from neighboring African countries who come to seek greener pastures in South Africa with most immigrants originating from neighboring countries of Botswana, Eswatini, Lesotho, Mozambique, and Zimbabwe. A spike in the number of immigrants in the mid-1980s can be attributed to a high demand for mine labor. In the 1990s, the Renamo War in Mozambique produced an influx of migration into South Africa, and in modern times this group is often considered with refugee status. Many work permit holders come from Kenya, Nigeria and Zimbabwe. A high number of asylum-seekers are from Somalia, in 2019 there were 4.2 million immigrants in South Africa as reported by this constitutes about 7.2 percent of the entire South-African population.

    It is safe to say that history has shown us that the black south Africans do not really appreciate the 7.2 percent of their population who are their fellow African brothers and sisters working and living amongst them, xenophobic attacks against other Africans in South Africa have become headlines in recent times, on 1 September 2019, riots and looting targeting foreign nationals broke out in Johannesburg, another one of such dating as far back as the 1980s, the riots broke out in response to the death of a taxi driver, over 50 businesses owned by Nigerians were strategically targeted, looted and burnt, the riots resulted in 12 deaths and an estimated 100,000 Nigerians in South Africa signed up to take free flights offered by Nigeria to take them back home.

     On Wednesday 13/4/2022 Elvis Nyathi a 43-year-old Zimbabwean, a father of four, was left to burn to death in the street in Diepsloot, a crime-plagued township north of Johannesburg. Elvis was apparently kill by local vigilantes in Diepsloot for not possessing a passport, his wife told reporters that on Wednesday night vigilantes came knocking on their door, they immediately beat up Elvis and tied him up demanding for his passport, when he could not produce his passport they accused him of hiding weapons and set him ablaze in front of this wife even after searching his house and not finding any weapons.

    Elvi’s death has drawn strong criticisms from the South African government and the international community, in the wake of his gruesome murder it was announced that he will be given a State funeral in a bid by the Southern African government to take responsibility and maintain social law and order, these xenophobic killings in South Africa seem to have no end, will Elvis’s death usher in a new age of peaceful coexistence between south African’s and other immigrants or is he just another victim of history.

Image credit: Sowetan live

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