DURBAN, MARCH 1, 2019 (CISA)-Archbishop Buti Tlhagale of Johannesburg highlighted the plight of migrants in South Africa during 50th Anniversary of the Symposium of the Episcopal Conferences of Africa and Madagascar (SECAM).
“Too many migrants are exploited, especially those migrants and refugees who do not have proper documents,” he said during the celebration in Durban.
He noted that most of those who are undocumented “receive slave wages and are continuously threatened with arrest. Some are victims of corrupt police officials. And, as if that was not enough, many have been victims of xenophobia.”
“When local communities go on a service delivery protest, they take out their anger on foreign nationals. They harass them, attack them, destroy and loot their shops. It is most unfair for migrants and refugees to be made scapegoats for the glaring shortcomings of the government and local authorities,” he said.
Archbishop Tlhagale acknowledges that there is a crime problem causes by migration which in a way makes citizens to criminalize all the members of the foreign communities in South Africa.
“Drugs have become a scourge in some of our communities. Thus the palpable anger of the communities is understandable. There are those migrants who are involved in robberies and human trafficking. These aberrations by some should not lead to the wholesale condemnation of the entire community of migrants and refugees,” he said.
Archbishop Tlhagale warned that discrimination against fellow Africans is a betrayal of one’s own humanity weakening ones honour and worth.
“The grave sin we commit in our times, is the sin of indifference to the plight of others. We walk on the other side of the road like the Priest and the Levite. We do not want to see, we do not want to know. We carry around with us hearts of stone. We measure the worth of persons by applying the misguided criteria of race, nationality, culture and religion,” he said.