SA xenophobic attacks: Ben Ephson is wrong – Appiah Kubi

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Yaw Appiah Kubi

The former Parliamentary candidate of the National Democratic Congress in the Akropong Constituency, Yaw Appiah Kubi, has expressed misgivings over comments made by Ben Ephson about xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

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Speaking on World Affairs a programme on Class FM, which discusses global issues of national relevance, Mr Ben Ephson, Managing Editor of the Daily Dispatch described black South Africans protesting violently against underdevelopment and widespread joblessness as “lazy” and “jealous” of the fortune made by foreigners in South Africa.

According to him, the underlying causes of the recent disturbances can be associated to poverty, jealousy and laziness adding that ordinary South Africans are unwilling to take the wages they are offered by business owners.

But Appiah Kubi says no man is born into the world lazy and neither does he have a gene of laziness in himself, but rather it is the social and economic environment in which he finds himself which influences his world outlook and his reaction to matters around him.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND TO THE CRISIS

According to him, when the first settlers arrived in South Africa in 1562, they found people who were producing various foods that the sailors used to replenish their ships. Subsequently, he said, through the Boer war and the Jameson’s raid, South Africans were driven out of their lands and were reduced to only farmers farming in areas that were not fertile.

The former Parliamentary Candidate narrates that with the discovery of gold, diamond and platinum, South Africans were further reduced to slaves working in the mines and receiving poor wages in a typical master-slave relationship that deprived fellow South Africans of every human right and dignity.

To make this exploitation possible and effective, the white settlers, he said, imposed the Apartheid system of government in which the blacks were reduced to hewers of wood and drawers of water.

“The system never allowed them [South Africans] education and the opportunity to grow, until after their supposed independence in 1994. So you’ll find that many more people don’t have education and many more people don’t have job opportunities and property rights”

NO CHANGE IN SYSTEM AFTER APARTHEID

Appiah Kubi is embittered at the inability of the African National Congress (ANC) to cause changes in the economic structure of South Africa after their supposed independence in 1994. Economic power he said, remained in the hands of the white whiles the blacks except for a few whites remained poor and marginalized.

Given the situation, he said many foreigners including Ghanaians who go to South Africa to receive education are easily employed as managers because they qualify.

He gave examples of such foreigners Dr Amoah, a Ghanaian Physicist who is married to Nelson Mandela’s daughter and the Gupta brothers who went to South Africa and made huge fortunes adding that in the face of these developments ordinary South Africans who think that they own the land find themselves unemployed and doing menial jobs.

XENOPHOBIC ATTACKS UNDER BUSIA

According to the former NDC Parliamentary Candidate, the shameful and mindless violence taking place in South Africa today occurred in Ghana in 1971 where Dr Busia under the Aliens Compliance Order, drove out many African nationals defeating Nkrumah’s Pan Africanist view in Ghana.

He adds that “under conservative rule generally, immigrants are seen as the bane of joblessness and we find a classic demonstration of this concern in France, Germany and in the United States especially under President Donald Trump”.

According to him, the impacts of xenophobia are that whilst African Unity is severely undermined it creates political conflicts and affects companies and institutions from South Africa doing business in other countries.