Wednesday, 29 April 2015 13:16

COMMENT:In continuous remembrance of Emmanuel Sithole

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Emmanuel Sithole's family in MozambiqueIt appears that the sun has risen and set. The storm appears to be over. A lot have been said and a lot has been discussed. Banters have been thrown around between parties affected directly and indirectly by the recent xenophobic activities that engulfed the Republic of South Africa.

Many would rather not talk about it, many would pretend that it never took place and many would rather sugar-coat the whole thing by asking questions that are not pertinent with regard to what took place in South Africa a few days ago.

It has been alleged that Emmanuel Sithole who was murdered in Alexandra, a township very close to Johannesburg South Africa was an 'illegal' immigrant. I am not very sure if this singular allegation negates the fact that a bread winner, husband and father was murdered.

While we are deliberating on this whole xenophobia thing, we should not forget to mourn with the family of Emmanuel Sithole who left behind two wives and two children, people who used to depend on him for survival. His family in Mozambique used to depend on the monthly remittances that Emmanuel used to avail them.

When a Sunday Times team travelled to his home in a small village located in a place called Nhachunga,the displeasure they encountered was summed up by the presence of two wives ,two toddlers and a very agonized mother.

Written all over their faces was a promise unfulfilled and a promise that will never be fulfilled. This promise was dependent on the now slain Emmanuel Sithole. A promise of erecting a brick house that will house the entire family and provide them with some stability.

Emmanuel Sithole left Mozambique for South Africa about seven years ago for greener pastures but was met with a very despicable hate infused pogrom construed by some as xenophobia or should I say Afrophobia. The fact of the matter is that Emmanuel Sithole is dead. And he was killed by people who believed that he should not be given a chance to live because he is a foreign national.

The monthly handouts of about R1, 000 ($100) that he avails his family in Mozambique have come to an abrupt end. The future of his mother, two wives and the three children he left behind have been thrown into oblivion. Yet some people do not want us to talk about xenophobia and how it affects us all.Yet some play politics with his death.

Denialsim will not solve the problem posed by xenophobia in South Africa. A blatant refusal to talk about xenophobia is a crime against Emmanuel Sithole and his likes. We should never get tired of talking about xenophobia and xenophobes. We should heed the call to sensitize the populace by telling stories of people like late Emmanuel Sithole.

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Johnson-Ehidonye Patrick Sopuruchukwu Bernard

Mr. Johnson-Ehidonye Patrick Sopuruchukwu Bernard is Political activist and social critic on Nigerian, African and World affairs. Ambassador at the University of the People, Pasadena California. U.S.A