FEARS of xenophobic attacks in South Africa were renewed over the weekend after a hashtag #ZimbabweansMustFall started trending on Twitter, pushed mostly by angry South Africans complaining that Zimbabweans have crowded them out of “their” jobs and economic opportunities.
Zimbabweans, Nigerians, Mozambicans and Malawians have been at the receiving end of subtle attacks on South Africa, as the continent’s biggest economy begins to shrink as a result of Covid-19 pandemic, among other factors.
However, by midnight yesterday, most of the anger on social media was targeted at Zimbabweans.
One Ephraim Zola complained that there were instances where Zimbabwean employees accounted for 75 percent of the workforce at some South African companies.
“At Spar vorna valley, Midrand almost 75% of employees are Zimbabweans,1 Nigerian 3 Mozambican 1 from Malawi and then locals accomodate the remaining 20% #ZimbabweansMustFall.”
A ffellow South African concurred with Zola, saying Zimbabweans are preferred because they do not know their worth and accept to be paid slave wages.
“@My_SPAR is a serious problem. All spars I’ve been to are like that. Spar is a slave driver. They dont like hiring South Africans because South Africans know their worth.”
Lerato Pillay was brutal in her push for Zimbabweans to be expelled from South Africa, accusing them of stealing copper cables in Pretoria.
“These Zimbabwean guys are responsible for cable theft in the Pretoria North area. They have a secluded area outside Orchards called dikolobeng; this is where all criminal activities take place.
“All stolen goods gets collected from there for distribution #ZimbabweansMustFall,” Pillay said.
Pillay continued: “Zimbabweans distroyed their Country now they are Distroying our infrastructure by stealing Railway line, cables, cellphone towers etc. Zimbabweans are also responsible for most car hijacking and the killing of South African Citizens in JHB CBD and other areas #ZimbabweansMustFall.”
Another South Africa, however, saw the light side of things. He reckoned that if Zimbabweans were to be expelled from South Africa, the support base for Kaizer Chiefs at its matches would shrink drastically.
“I repeat, if all Zimbabweans fall that will be the end of Kaizer Chiefs #ZimbabweansMustFall.”
Ross Rori said:
“ZimbabweansMustFall show me a Boere asking for an English man to fall … or visa verse I will wait.”
Fred Brito Gomez accused Zimbabweans of taking every job including prostitution, but said he would still not support the xenophobic hashtag.
“90% of the sex workers at Iphi Ntombi and Sports Pub in Pretoria CBD are Zimbabweans. Sorry fam, I can’t & won’t support this hashtag #ZimbabweansMustFall.”
Despite the accusations that they have turned Hilbrow and other parts of South Africa into underworlds of crime, drug dealing and robberies, Zimbabweans pushed back against efforts to label them bad guests in South Africa.
Solomon Haruzibwi tweeted:
We not going to fall more than we already are. Zimbabweans MUST rise.
No Zimbabwean is going to fall cause of a silly hashtag. Let’s send them CVs bafethu, let’s push business ideas, let’s hustle hard & rise! Anyway hit me up for infrared thermometers R650.
Namatai Kwekweza figured out they the trending hashtag was a wake-up call for Zimbabweans to fix their own economic and political problems to avoid being unwanted guests in foreign lands.
I was shocked when I saw #ZimbabweansMustFall trending. It’s a clear indication that people don’t want us in their countries.
We have to fix our country and make it habitable so that we never need to go to places were we are treated with contempt.
Other Zimbabweans asked any one who supported the hashtag to just unfollow them forthwith.
Last week, South Africa’s largest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA), urged President Cyril Ramaphosa to abandon quiet diplomacy towards Zimbabwe and take a bold stance against an alleged fresh campaign of brutality being conducted by the government against members of the opposition.
Darren Bergman, who is the Shadow Minister for International Relations and Cooperation, made the call as there are fears that the worsening economic situation in Zimbabwe could see more people heading south of the Limpopo soon as the lockdown restrictions in both countries are eased. – Zimbabwe Voice