Xenophobia poster. Picture: EPA/NIC BOTHMA
Xenophobia poster. Picture: EPA/NIC BOTHMA

It is good to have the president, the Anglican archbishop and also former IFP leader Mangosuthu Buthelezi among the high-status leaders explicitly condemning xenophobia by name.

All that prevents these looting and burning riots from being termed pogroms is that our police try to arrest the rioters, instead of encouraging them. 

Adekeye Adebajo’s column listed some practical steps for governments to take (“SA must fix its xenophobia or face losing key partnerships”, September 9). As with the demonstrations against gender-based violence, the churches and civil society organisations need to mobilise pan-African solidarity demonstrations on the same streets where the xenophobic riots occurred. South Africans should bring AU flags, and the Africa Diaspora Forum should encourage its members to each bring the flags of their home countries to wave. This will help take back the streets.

It must be said that for SA, with only 58-million persons, to host 2-million (Stats SA figures) to 4-million foreigners (UN estimates) is significant.

“Undocumented migrants” is of course a euphemism for illegal immigrants. It is the international norm that after five years of residence, foreigners may apply for naturalisation to become citizens, or to acquire permanent residence visas. It is overdue for our home affairs department to facilitate this.

Keith Gottschalk