BuaNews, 31 May 2008

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If South African citizens as well as Africans living in the country unite, the few who are behind the brutal attacks on foreign nationals can be stopped, writes Nthambeleni Gabara. Nigerian artist, Hugo Africa, who was in South Africa recently to promote his new album, said he did not believe South Africans were xenophobic and that it was merely a group of resident who were behind the attacks on foreign nationals. At a time when most people were adding their voices in condemning the attacks, Mr Hugo focused his attention on how Africa could stand up and be counted as one of the great nations of the world. "I crave the indulgence of all Africans all over the world to ensure that these unprecedented and spontaneous acts of violence be put to a stop immediately." He questioned how Africans could forget that the world was preparing to converge in South Africa for the first ever 2010 FIFA World Cup. South Africa made Africa proud when it won the bid to host the event, but now we are surprised to learn that some South Africans are trying to ridicule this decision. Mr Hugo said it was going to be a difficult task restoring confidence in South Africa to guarantee the safety of those visiting the country when there were stories of such violence and mob justice. "Violence is not a tool of a civilised people. Mob justice never works rather it gives birth to more hate." Mr Hugo further said the recent acts of violence defiled the spirit of the great continent. "I ask myself, what if crisis befalls a South African person, who will he run to; where in Africa will he run to?" The artist said whatever South Africa is encountering at the moment, intelligence and dialogue should be applied, but not violence and mob justice. "Let us forgive and forget what has just happened and move forward. Xenophobia should stop for the course of African unification to make meaning," he said. The collective efforts by the majority of residents, government, non-governmental organisations and other community structures clearly indicate that the country will clinch victory soon. Local musicians have united to help bring an end to the violence. The artists record a special song last Sunday which was aimed at bringing South Africans together to help sooth the pain and suffering which has been caused by the brutal attacks. The song, Not in My Lifetime, will be released in the coming weeks. The message behind the song is that our time should not go down in history as another era of tragedy. It urges the youth to take a stand and ensure that the legacy they leave will be a proud, unified one.