Jeers may have turned to applause when Ramaphosa apologised for the violence but the scars of the most recent acts of xenophobia will remain.
The xenophobia that ravaged South Africa this month was not forgotten, as President Cyril Ramaphosa took the podium at the memorial of former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe.
Jeers may have turned to applause when Ramaphosa apologised for the violence but the scars of the most recent acts of xenophobia, and those that have taken place in previous years, will remain.
“I stand before you as a fellow African, to express my regret and to apologise for what has happened in our country,” said Ramaphosa. The president at the weekend sent special envoys to deliver messages of solidarity to several heads of state and governments across Africa, amid the violence in the country.
“The special envoys will deliver a message from President Ramaphosa, regarding the incidents of violence that recently erupted in some parts of South Africa, which have manifested in attacks on foreign nationals and destruction of property,” a statement from the Presidency read.
The special envoys will send the message that South Africa is committed to the ideals of pan-African unity and solidarity.
This message will be lost if similar violence erupts.
To acknowledge the deep hurt caused by xenophobia is only part of the solution.
Understanding and dealing with the root causes of the violence must become a priority.