The South African Football Player’s Union strongly condemns the present scourge of xenophobia attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa. This is an appeal to stop the violence against innocent people from neighbouring countries who we view as our African brothers and sisters. We come from a history where innocent lives were lost and bloodshed was a result of disagreement because of cultural and ethnic differences. Our men and women national teams are abhorred at these senseless attacks on our defenceless African brothers and sisters.

It is sad for South Africa when we see our brothers and sisters from other countries being attacked, killed and injured in our communities and streets. This is not the South Africa and democracy we fought for against the perpetrators of Apartheid. The actions which we sadly witnessed in the recent past are not the true reflections of the people of this country. It is worth noting that the levels of poverty, unemployment and inequality have sky rocketed. It is unfortunate that the current capital system doesn’t address the real issues that affect the masses of our people. It is equally unfortunate that a few criminals will take advantage of the current economic situation of our people to pursue their barbaric agenda.

We are under no illusion when we say that the majority of South Africans are peace loving people and would like to live side by side with their fellow Africans. We need to stand together and make sure that we address this barbaric practice. SAFPU will continue to raise these issues which are at the center of humanity. We have been on the drive to highlight the challenges faced with racism across the breath and width of the world.

It is indeed once more our responsibility and that of all those who believe in the human race to act against these barbaric acts. We will not rest; we will mobilize the society, sportsmen and women, supporters, citizens of the world to stand up against this alien practice. We naturally know what the root cause of the high levels of unemployment, poverty and inequalities are. They are by no means our brothers and sisters from neither the continent nor anywhere else, but the capitalist system that doesn’t ensure that those who work in the economy are able to share what they produce.

The system is such that it continues to enrich the few at the expense of the majority, for us this is the root cause and it should be seen as such. These attacks will continue to deflect attention from the main issues that we need to address as a society. It is time that as citizens of the world, in particular Africans, stand together and fight all these challenges that have resulted in us fighting against each other, leaving our countries for better lives elsewhere. It is time that we fight for Africa we all want and the only way is to choose the leadership that we think will give us the Africa we all want.

Let us stand together in unison and ensure that we hold our leaders to account and ensure that peoples’ lives and well-being are at the centre. We cannot allow ourselves to be manipulated into causing injury to each other. Let’s reject all these criminal activities and act wherever we see these ugly acts rearing their heads.