#PutSouthAfricansFirst Campaign May Lead To Xenophobia

#PutSouthAfricansFirst May Lead To Xenophobia

#PutSouthAfricansFirst Campaign May Lead To Xenophobia

Human Rights Watch (HRW), an international non-governmental organization and human rights watchdog has warned that the #PutSouthAfricansFirst campaign could lead to xenophobia.

Dewa Mavhinga, the Southern Africa director at Human Rights Watch, as the #PutSouthAfricansFirst campaign seems to be gathering momentum on social media.

The issue went viral when a Twitter user referred to a Zimbabwean waiter as an ‘alien’ saying that she had refused to served by a non-South Africa at a Wimpy restaurant. Some social media users then advocated for boycotts of restaurants and businesses which employ foreigners.

#PutSouthAfricansFirst May Lead To Xenophobia

Mavhinga and Human Rights Watch cautioned that the move could easily spiral out of control and degenerate into violence. Mavhinga said:

“…could easily fuel xenophobic violence in communities that are accustomed to committing xenophobic violence with little or no action from the law enforcement officials to hold accountable those responsible”.

“It does not matter that #PutSouthAfricansFirst movement claims that it is not xenophobic and is not calling for violence against foreign nationals. What is more important is how its message will be received and acted upon in the communities that are already primed for violence against migrants,”

Mavhinga’s comments appear to have stirred up some of the #PutSouthAfricansFirst proponents who attacked him saying that his commentary was biased and one-sided while some suggested that he (Mavhinga) should be escorted back to Zimbabwe.

Below are some of the responses to Mavhinga’s comments:

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