South Africa: If It's Not Xenophobia, Then What Is It?


African National Congress and government responses to recent crises arising from the presence in the country of asylum seekers, genuine and otherwise, raises deeply disturbing questions. This is with regard to whether the party is still committed to its founding philosophy of pan-Africanism and whether its government is willing to fulfil its international obligations and implement the country's foreign policy imperatives.

The ANC's pan-Africanist ideological outlook and its concomitant influence can be demonstrated in ways too numerous to recount in this article. Suffice to say that representatives from territories that are now called eSwatini, Botswana and Lesotho attended its 1912 founding conference as full delegates.

When it was the turn for the Zimbabweans and Zambians to launch their own freedom struggles in the then Northern and Southern Rhodesia, they chose to call their parties "African National Congress". Additionally, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Tanzania adopted Nkosi Sikelel' iAfrica as their national anthems, only modifying the lyrics to suit their particular national circumstances. Hail to Enoch Mankayi Sontonga, the composer of our hymn-turned-anthem!

Today's ANC owes the international community a deep debt of gratitude. When in 1960 the apartheid regime banned the organisation, Oliver Tambo was sent abroad to mobilise international support for...

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