This is not the first time that we are hearing about Ghanaian, and other non-South African, nationals resident in post-Apartheid South Africa being brutally mauled by disgruntled South African youths who have been economically deprived by decades of Boer-Afrikaner racist political culture (See “Relocate Pan-African Parliament from SA Over Xenophobic Attacks – Muntaka” Citimonline.com / Ghanaweb.com 2/26/17). It happened under the just-ended tenure of the Mahama-led government of the National Democratic Congress (NDC) a couple of years ago. Back then, as now, Ghana’s High Commissioner in Pretoria, Mr. Kwesi Ahwoi, publicly denied that there had been any remarkable level of violence unleashed against Ghanaian nationals resident in that country. Mr. Ahwoi would later claim that many a Ghanaian resident in South Africa was not wont to seek help from the Ghana High Commission in that country.
Well, as it shortly turned out, the Ghana High Commission, then headed by Mr. Ahwoi, had absolutely no meaningful and constructive assistance to offer lethally besieged Ghanaian nationals in that country, short of having them put on the next available plane and immediately returned home. No questions asked; no ifs and buts vis-à-vis property recovery and reasonable compensation packages from the South African government. If the Pan-African Parliament is, indeed, headquartered in Pretoria, or wherever it may be inside that continental shoe-tip shape of a country, and each and every African country is represented there by 5 parliamentarians, then it would be interesting to learn what these non-South African, continental African politicians have been doing in that country, knowing full-well that their nationals there are daily faced with death threats and the wanton destruction of their properties and businesses by local xenophobic vigilantes.
In other words, rather than call for the relocation of the Pan-African Parliament from South Africa – and just who is going to pay for the humongous costs this would entail, by the way? – these evidently self-serving politicians and diplomats ought to be engaged in serious dialogue with the Zuma-led government of the African National Congress (ANC), aimed at stemming the alarming tide of violence against non-indigenous African nationals resident in that country who are, for the most part, leading responsible and productive lives. You can’t simplistically talk about relocating the Pan-African Parliament from South Africa, without also suggesting an alternative location, as Mr. Mohammed Muntaka Mubarak, the Minority Chief Whip of the National Democratic Congress, was recently reported to have suggested.
You see, the greater problem here is not the actual incidents of deadly violence being allegedly visited upon non-indigenous African nationals resident in South Africa, but the abjectly criminal failure of our politicians and diplomats to tell it like it is. For instance, about the same time that High Commissioner Ahwoi vehemently denied that any Ghanaians had come under any serious, let alone deadly, attacks at the hands of young South African township thugs, a brutally murdered Ghanaian resident of the same country was being reported to have had his mortal remains flown home to the twin-cities of Sekondi-Takoradi for burial. There have also been reported the murders of several Ghanaian residents of South Africa whose mortal remains were buried there.
For me though, the sort of internecine violence being reported in South Africa is not different from the sort of violence hitherto unilaterally visited upon the pates of Ghanaian operatives of the Rawlings-minted regimes of the so-called National Democratic Congress and, before the latter, the erstwhile so-called Provisional National Defense Council (PNDC) on their main political opponents. Recently, and quite refreshingly, though, the members and supporters of the Akufo-Addo-led ruling New Patriotic Party (NPP) have begun to healthily fight back.
How about the establishment of a Pan-African People’s Militia or Police Force to take up the sacred duty of providing around-the-clock protection for non-indigenous African nationals in South Africa, since the Zuma-led ANC, of which I was once an Honorary Member, clearly does not seem to be either interested or prepared to protect these “other,” perhaps unwanted, Africans? And to think of the fact that all along, many of us thought the problem was Donald Trump. Or didn’t we?
*Visit my blog at: kwameokoampaahoofe.wordpress.com Ghanaffairs