The Solidarity Peace Trust is deeply shocked and saddened by the recent wave of racist and xenophobic violence that has taken place in several South African cities particularly in Kwazulu Natal and Gauteng.
As a human rights organisation working for peace and justice in Southern Africa, we add our voice to those of Civil Society, Government, Trade Unions as well as the peace loving South Africans in condemning these xenophobic attacks.
We acknowledge that there are a number of social and economic challenges facing South Africa’s poorer communities. However there can be no justification whatsoever for these acts of violence.
We are overwhelmed by the generosity of ordinary community members from Phoenix and Chatsworth near Durban as well as other cities across the country who responded so quickly to the call by ourselves and other NGOs for support and assistance to the displaced, injured and affected people.
We thank the government of the Republic of South Africa, and the various African embassies for their support in assisting the displaced people who chose to return home. However our experience over the years tells us that the vast majority of foreign nationals will remain in South Africa and this will require that the government of South Africa strengthen its efforts in dealing more decisively with the structural causes of the xenophobic violence.
Finally we call on all religious organisations to dedicate this Sunday 26 April 2015 to a Prayer for Peace in Africa as we note the spread of this hatred and anger to other parts of the continent.
ISSUED BY: Josephat Tshuma. (CHAIRPERSON)
SOLIDARITY PEACE TRUST
38 MITCHEL DRIVE
SELVAN CHETTY 0396825869 | 0835561726 | Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Brian Raftopoulos, Director of Research and Advocacy, Solidarity Peace Trust.
In an insightful commentary on the current state of Zimbabwe politics, Joost Fontein writes about the prevalence of despondency in which a ‘new timescale of hope and aspiration’ has emerged ‘that makes both the present and any immediate future appear equally uninspiring.’1 In many ways this resignation to the politics of the long haul reflects the loss of hope in an imminent alternative, which was the structure of feeling that fuelled the social imagination of opposition and civic politics from the late 1990’s until the complexities and complicities of the Global Political Agreement. Underlying this politics of despair are a plethora of factors, ranging from the re-organisation of Zanu PF and its political machinery of patronage, coercion and electoral chicanery, to the massive dissipation of opposition energies in the context of large-scale changes in Zimbabwe social structure since the 1990’s. The recent implosion in Zanu PF around the politics of succession have, moreover, provided further evidence of the pervasive mood of despair in Zimbabwe’s polity, even against the background of the ruling party’s purported victory and resurgence in the 2013 election. (Read more…)
Robert Mugabe Inaugurated as President for the 7th time
Zanu PF’s and Mugabe’s overwhelming electoral ‘victory’ in July 2013 was the result of a combination of the continuing legacy of firmly inscribed memories of post-colonial violence, Zanu PF’s persistent legitimacy from the liberation struggle, the declining fortunes of the opposition MDCs, the combination of coercion and patronage by the ruling party in context of a reconstructed political economy, regional solidarity for the ‘party of liberation, and the limits of international pressure on the Zimbabwean crisis.1
In the aftermath of this ‘victory’ Zanu PF has had to confront the challenges of presiding over a radically transformed political economy which, while it contributed to electoral success, now poses huge problems for economic progress. While the combination of a radical land programme, deindustrialisation and a rapidly informalised urban sector, and a strong reliance on the mineral sector, reconfigured the social basis of the electorate in Zanu PF’s favour, it also presents major challenges for economic growth in the post-election period. The central economic challenges confronting Zanu PF include: an external debt amounting to US$6 billion; liquidity constraints resulting in deflationary demand trends; limited inflow of foreign direct investment; lack of industrial competitiveness which is also affected by low domestic demand; loss of confidence in an increasingly vulnerable financial sector; lack of transparency and accountability in the key mineral sector; and a widening current account deficit due to the faster growth of imports.2 (Read more…)