'NAME ATTACKS FOR WHAT THEY ARE'

Cape Argus , 19 June 2008

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Don't call what happened in the country recently xenophobia, call it what it really is: Afriphobia. So says KwaZulu Premier S'bu Ndebele. The violent attacks on non-South Africans were not levelled at people from Europe, but were targeted at people from elsewhere in Africa, he noted. Such problems will not be resolved unless it is called by its proper name, Ndebele said when he addressed the opening ceremony of the week-long International Youth Crime Prevention & Cities Summit at the Inkosi Albert Luthuli International Convention Centre on Wednesday in Durban. Telling delegates that people often say: "Watch him, he is from Mozambique, or he is from Swaziland," he asked: "What sickness is this?" But he assured his audience that it was a problem that was going to be exorcised, just like apartheid, racism and male chauvinism. Perhaps something good could come out of Afriphobia as it would enable people in government, in society, in communities and as youth, to deal with it "and when we emerge, we are sure to be a stronger continent". "Perhaps we need to come through this bad patch to real-ise how much we need to be consciously African." Turning to the subject of crime, he said that "enough is enough. And these are not just empty words".