The AU chairman Jakaya Kikwete states that: “What is happening now in South Africa at a time when we are trying to unite the continent is really an anti-climax”. This is something that really sums things up and paints the emotions of everyone that are working for unity, peace and understanding on the continent.
The racist/xenophobic violence in South Africa of the last weeks may come as a shock but I really hope it does not come as a surprise. The tensions between South Africans and foreigners have been there for some time. I have during my relatively short time in the country personally experience and seen my non-South African friends been mistreated for a number of, more or less, illogical reasons.
For example native South Africans quite often get offended when my friends from other parts of the continent can’t reply in e.g. isiZulu or isiXhosa. This kind of “cultural pride” has no place in multicultural (and multilingual) country as South Africa, and it only adds to the “we versus them” mentality.