Open Letter To President Jacob Zuma – Sandile Mathenjwa


Written: 28 April 2015

1. Mr. President, I have watched Anti xenophobic marches and public utterances over the past few weeks which prompted me to gain courage to write this letter to address questions and issues I and most of South Africans have noted the way our leaders have handled this whole situation of Xenophobic. Our silence is long overdue, the world has been mislead then lets put the facts straight.

2. Right In the face of our leaders, foreigner’s nationals through all sort of media and public platform, on top of being in our country illegal have insulted us with all sort of name. They have refereed to South Africans as mentally lazy, ignorant, they went to threaten us to take us to ICC. We have been seriously undermined as South Africans. I don’t put this alone on foreigners who have uttered such nonsensically statement, but to our leaders as well including yourself Mr. president who stood proud to condemn the demonstrations by South Africans against illegal immigrants…which you and other leaders have termed it “Xenophobia” I call it a firm rise and stand by South Africans to defend what belongs to them “Ownership”. 

 3. To my surprise all foreigners have been given so much attention, but South African people who have raised this issue of illegal immigrants have not been given a simple platform to raise their frustration. Our leaders have assumed quit a lot, they have uttered statements which does not really represent a wish of lot of South African people. Your urgent personally responded to a letter from Mia Couto, Mozambican writer and poet which came three weeks after, but none of our leader have consulted and responded to people from Soweto, Umlazi, Alex ect, or even to listen to their genuine demands is pathetic. Most have went there to condemn the attack and killing to foreigners, which is correct, but is it enough? Are both parties, South Africans and foreigners going to be satisfied with this approach which exclude most affected South Africans?

4. Our leaders are not doing justice to the citizen of this country. All our political, civil society and government leaders have failed to tell the world the truth. They have vested so much energy to attend to foreigners concerns, but we hardly see this same energy when it comes to solving the issues that face South African citizen on the daily basic. Poverty, Youth unemployment and economic inequality is becoming worse in South Africa year in and year out. We have many graduate who are sitting at home without jobs, food and fuel prices are rising monthly. Poor health systems, poor education system, all sort of problems this country is facing. All they tell us is to wait and be patient…but they have not waited for too long to protect foreigners when our people were raising their frustrations with regard to crime, illegal activities that are committed by fellow who are here illegally.

5. Our leaders have not spoken bold on Labour brokers, E-tolls, Energy crisis, Free and quality education demanded by students organizations, poor health services, poor service delivery, corruption, unemployment, etc. Why, why and why there are no urgent solution and attention to those issues? Are we really not important compared to foreigners nationals? Has all you energy been reserved for foreigners nationals not your people you are representing, the people who have elected and voted you into power?

6. COSATU is still marching today for Labour brokers, South Africa is still experiencing dark days today because of load shading, today we still have a problem of access and success in high institution because of financial and academic exclusion, South Africans are still striking demanding a merely living wage, people of South Africa mainly in rural areas have no water and electricity you can name all sort of frustration people of South Africa a facing. With all such problems, now our own leaders have guts to allocate millions to satisfy foreigners in our own country instead of spending such money satisfying the need of our people. We do not need any education with regard to foreigners, our 100 million which is our tax must be allocated to something else for the benefit of South Africans.

7. There is little joy to be found in S.A, the business and financial heart of South Africa has remained controlled by elite community, minority to be specific. While our government are in the process of transforming this to indigenous people of this country then here foreigners are taking over. We took political control, but largely left the running of the economy unchanged. There was an expectation that over time, wealth would spread down to those who had been deprived of equality, mainly the black populations that make up about 90 percent of the South African population. We have recently insisted that we want economic freedom, what for? If people of South Africa are not benefit much compared to foreigners. Who is benefiting on Land distribution, is South Africans or Foreigners?

8. I point it out that South African people who have attended those march during the last few weeks, working days specifically are mainly those who are not working. Our leaders should have been worried, because such attended symbolize a big number of unemployment in South Africa. They have participated to those march solemnly because we are all for now against any killings, however ALL of us in ONE VOICE we are saying illegal immigrants must leave our country soon. If they are reluctant to do that and our leaders continue to protect them, treat them so special more than they do to us, thereafter only one option will be left for us to apply any force.

9. When china nationals opens a shop, they import everything from china they do not sell South African products. They do not open employment opportunities within those communities, they either run those shops for themselves or employers other foreigners whom they pay them low wages. So who is fooling who?

10. When a Nigerian or any other African foreign nationals open a shop, they import products from their respective countries or else they manufacture fake products in their backyards houses they own in SA they do not sell South African products. They do not open employment opportunities within those communities, they either run those shops for themselves and they bring on board their families and relatives as well. These people does not pay tax as we do. How can our businesses survive the competition with other foreign people who do not pay anything to government to run their businesses here, while our SA businesses regardless of how much profit they make they have to pay Tax.

11. This is the daily experience and reality we are living into on the daily basic as South Africans in townships, rural and urban areas. We have got a firsthand experience for this compared to our leaders who only hear such on media if not once during elections campaigns.

12. Really to be loud and clear we don’t have a problem with professionals they are not illegal immigrants and they do not live in Point or Hillbrow to sell drugs which destroy the same innocent young South Africans, drugs which have destroyed our families and communities. We have also professionals in those countries, they are there legally they do not do crime, neither are they corrupted. We have also South Africans businesses outside South African, with their very strict laws of doing businesses in their countries, our own business people do comply with their law, including paying very huge tax. Therefore we also don’t want people who are here to make a living on our account, our resources and at the expense of our very poor people.

13. People who are facing this hardship, are people at a ground level instead of being listed they have been silenced, through all sort of anti-xenophobic marches that have been organize national wide, briefings and bill boards left, right and center. They have used all sort of media to protect foreigners. Mind you all this have been done successfully using our tax. So now in our own country, by our own leaders we are treated this way?

14. This are the same foreigners who have collapse our music and entertainment industry through “music piracy”, While our leaders have spoken bold on recently foreign attacks, for many years they have not come up with solution to this crisis and frustrations faced by our own musicians brought by foreigners. In what sense are their improving our economy if they are taking what our musician hope to survive with? Because this has stunts careers, stifles talent and eats away at the ability of composers and recording artists to continue making the great music that is the soundtrack to our lives. It also takes bread off the tables of the thousands of people who work in music-related fields. From authors and composers, to record company employees, studio producers, sound engineers and music retailers.

15. Our very own people who are suffering and frustrated due to this illegal influx of foreigners have been referred and termed as criminals, ignorant and lazy also by our own leaders.

16. Now we cannot be brainwashed by certain individuals with hidden agendas, and some with investments to those foreign countries which benefits only them and their families, to say they have helped us during apartheid. We have not disagreed with that, we are simple saying let us be strict on our borders and to get rid of all illegal immigrants inside SA. What we have witness recently, where police and soldiers deployed in Alexandra invade houses of innocent South Africans searching for illegal arms and drugs which they did not find is an evident that our people in the face of our leaders are criminals. 

 17. We have not heard up to this far any raid that has happened in Point, Hilbrow or any place where foreigners nationals are conducting their evil deeds, we have not heard anything or plan regarding the strictness of borders to cumb illegal immigrants, we have not heard actions to by governments institutions to investigate foreign businesses to see if they comply with laws which regulate the running of businesses in S A. All we can hear is march, marches and more marches to come to sympathize with foreigners not South African citizens who are the victims of crime committed by foreigners.

18. Everyone must cross the borders legally, simple. Because a man with VISA is just like a dead man. They can practice any crime without system catching even their fingerprints. The illegal ones are exactly the ones who sells drugs and take part in human trafficking. Now our leaders and our government must do us a favor remove from SA all illegal immigrants as much as we cannot go to other countries without permits from Home Affairs. They must go, they are here illegal. Those who want to be in SA for a good faith they must apply for a permit from their local Dept. Of Home Affairs and the must be a limited numbers as well. An illegal person will dare to take a job that will pay him 1000 a month that supposed to be paying 5000 a month

19. By the way NOT ALL South Africans went to exile, only a few! When our brothers sisters were in exile, few things to remember…

• They were not involved in drug trafficking
• They did not own businesses like spazas and shops
• They did not walk the streets selling carpets, mirrors and funny pictures
• They did not occupy or buy houses buildings and land illegally
• They did not fraudulently apply for citizenship because they were there for a good reason and not for lifetime
• They were not involved in crime like heists, fraud, illegal mining, cable stealing etc
• They did not WORK ! But involved in military training in order to come back to fight the enemy
• They did not walk the streets demanding their rights “In whose country” by the way?
• They were very respectful and appreciate the fact that they were given political asylum
• They did not force young girls to prostitute.
• Lastly, they CAME BACK HOME

20. Before they make popular statements, did our leaders consider this above facts or they simple take our outcry for granted.

21. None of our leaders or foreign leaders have spoken frankly about this frustration of South African that are brought by illegal immigrants into our country. They have not in public, in the face of the world condemn foreigners involve in criminal activities. All they have done is to name those concern South African citizens as criminals, where is the truth there. How can one acknowledge that there is a problem and at the same platform term those who are frustrated by the problem as criminals.

22. I condemn any killing or abuse of the foreign nationals, it is unacceptable. Those who kill must be jailed and they can be referred to as criminals. Foreigners please must go back to their countries peacefully. Just because we are human beings and most of all Africans, the Republic of South Africa shall not carry the burden of African government’s failure to stabilize their socio-economic environments because of their own corruptions. The Republic of South Africa should not be a cache of other government’s failure. As a well-established and a better developed country in the African continent in terms of socio-economic development we can only complement other government’s efforts, who their economy is going down because of western sanctions not because of their own corrupt government. Even so we cannot accommodate their people here anymore, we have our own poverty, we want to eradicate our own poverty because with them here there are not assisting at all instead they make our situation even to be worse.

23. Foreign nationals who are in South Africa illegal stop being obsessed with our own government, Go back to your country, march there, demand you right that you have been deprived by your own government. Hold your leaders accountable, demand improved service delivery and fight to reduce corruption in order to enable you to run your businesses there. You cannot stay here forever, remember we had to come back in South Africa to fight our own battles during apartheid era. For a record you cannot attack us in our own country, never, we do what we like and we say what we want. Those who are here legally and to do businesses, must comply with all SASRI requirements, must buy African product, must employ South Africans and if they are not willing to do so they must leave as well.

24. Governments of affected countries are corrupt, their officials who today blames South Africans actions to rise and fight the illegal influx of foreigners. They feed themselves and those around them as a result most of their citizen’s lives in poverty. Get me well the foreigners are migrating to SA, because their own governments are corrupt therefore SA should not be a custodian of their own wrong doings. Our leaders must stand their grounds, defend the people of this country and protect your country from unreasonable scattering attack from this corrupt foreign governments. Never allow this fat cats to take advantage of our kindness.

25. Mr. President respond to our genuine demands in the same spirit you have responded in foreign nationals. Please attend to our issues in the same way you have attended to those of foreigners. Please you must urgently convene us, so that we can also tell you why foreigner should leave in the same way they have told you and the world why they are not going to leave. Please respond to my letter in the same spirit you have responded to the writer and poetry of Mozambique, tell us what majors an in place right now to ensure that all illegal foreigners go back to their countries within 30 days peacefully, Please tell us when you are going to instruct police to invade areas where foreigners nationals are persuading their criminal activities.

26. Our leaders please do us a favor, do not live in the world of assumptions because you are misleading the entire world. We are saying no more to illegal immigrants inside SA, they must pack and go. STOP capitalizing to this for your own personal and political gains, Represent us with honestly, we know and we understand what we are going through. STOP your egos, STOP betraying us and listen to our demands and fulfill them like you are doing with that of foreigners. Do not ever make a mistake to tell us what we need, we know exactly what will make us happy, we do not want illegal foreigners in our country full stop.

27. Please note that failure to accommodate our demand will give us no other option but to embark on other actions that can even embarrass our country even more.

Foreigners do not vote for you in SA, we do. If our leaders turns their back on us then we can gladly and happily do so when the elections comes. We will remind the votes what you have put us through.

South Africans you are at your own…Stand UP and Shout Out

Written on behalf of all concern South Africans.

 Sandile Mathenjwa

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