GIWUSA mourns the xenophobic murder of Elvis Nyathi – calls for united front against xenophobia

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The General Industries Workers Union of South Africa (GIWUSA) mourns the tragic and disgraceful murder of Elvis Nyathi, an innocent migrant and family man based in Diepsloot.
The union holds the ANC government directly responsible for the awful slaying of Nyathi, who was burnt and stoned to death. The union has warned that allowing xenophobia to take root would result in more and more killings of this nature.

The government and authorities are accountable for Nyathi’s killing as they have been very soft on the violent, xenophobic groups who have recently launched a number of attacks on innocent people. GIWUSA is part of over thirty organisations – all part of the movement for social justice who have endorsed Kopanang Africa Against Xenophobia to denounce xenophobia and all forms of violence in our country.

GIWUSA demands that xenophobia is ended by addressing the root causes and eradicating those causes.

Fight the Corporate world for the systemic unemployment in our country!
Stats SA has just announced that the official unemployment rate increased by 0.4 of a percentage point to 35.3% in the fourth quarter of 2021 – the highest since the start of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) in 2008! The Report confirms that there are 7.9 million people unemployed in SA. These figures are calculated on people who have lost their jobs, people who were retrenched. All South Africans. Where is the anger at the private companies that are taking away peoples jobs, and leaving families to fall into destitution and hunger?

For too long, migrants and non-nationals have been blamed for South Africa’s problems, which they did not create, such as lack of employment, opportunities, service delivery, poverty and landlessness.

On jobs and employment!
We do not want the slave wages that people earn on farms and in the hospitality sector. We should unite in solidarity with the unemployed in South Africa to fight for a living wage. We should unite with the unemployed to demand that our government introduce a wealth tax and or increase company taxes. This is its constitutional obligation to ensure redress for the injustices of the past, Injustices that included black people earning slave wages simply because of the colour of their skin. Black workers working in appalling conditions while the fat cats who monopolise wealth in our country – just a tiny 20% who own 80% of the wealth – continue to greedily reduce costs to make excessive profits putting profits over peoples’ lives. This situation continues today 28 years into our democracy.

Sadly, the failures by the government to solve the issues that the working class faces, has resulted in atrocious acts of violence against those who are most vulnerable in society, rather than those in power who are responsible.

We stand against this Operation Dudula. The silence of the government makes it complicit in the violence being meted out against human beings, old people and children, which is a deliberate attempt to scapegoat migrants for these problems and stoke violence. The government is happy because the attention of the media and communities is not on the state and local and provincial government. We are not exposing the corruption that is stealing food from the mouths of the poorest and most vulnerable. Again corruption that is being committed by the rich and wealthy.
GIWUSA welcomes the fact that South Africans are leading movements like KAAX and that non- nationals are standing together to oppose this insidious campaign of Operation Dudula, funded by wealthy billionaires and supported by political parties.

Xenophobia stems from the same ‘hatred of the other’ as racism, sexism and other harmful prejudices. We cannot allow this hatred to persist in a democratic and free society. Dudula’s indiscriminate attacks on anyone with a darker skin colour, different accent, different language as ‘illegal immigrants’ is meant to conceal their hateful, and criminal xenophobia. It is using the same methods that the apartheid regime used to police black bodies under apartheid. Acts which has been globally recognised as crimes against humanity.

The overwhelming majority of the so-called ‘illegal immigrants’ are poor working class immigrants many of whom have been denied access to get documented because of a asylum system of institutionalised xenophobia.

GIWUSA urges all members of the working class to stand together in solidarity and organise to defeat the ravages of capitalism and the ruling class, which are hell-bent on their divide and conquer strategies. It is only through working class solidarity that we can achieve a better life for all. Support the call for a wealth tax and a Basic Income Grant as the basic minimum from this government as we struggle for a living wage for all and decent working conditions that respect the dignity of all.

For more information, contact:

Mametlwe Sebei, GIWUSA president – 081 368 0706
John Appolis, GIWUSA General Secretary – 071 623 5996

This press statement was released by GIWUSA on 7 April 2022.


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