SA attacks: African govt’s not angry enough – Herbert Mensah

Ghanaian businessman Herbert Mensah has said African governments “have not shown enough rage” towards xenophobic attacks in South Africa.

“People have got to exhibit rage and rage can be exhibited in different forms. I think that it’s very important that while condemning the action, to let the authorities in South Africa know that it is isn’t about the king’s statement, but the fact that society itself moves to that point, that they have to kill a minority that are involved in their country for economic and other reasons”, Herber Mensah said in an interview with Citi News.

He described the attacks in South Africa “as a very serious indictment on the country itself and the leadership of the country”, saying, “these for me are the bigger issues generally, that one needs to really take up the hotlines to President Zumah and let him know that he’s failing entirely.”

According to the South African High Commissioner to Ghana, 10 people have so far died in xenophobic attacks in that country. The figure includes two South Africans, two Mozambicans and a Zimbabwean.

Five Ghanaians have been reported dead since the attacks begun but reports said their deaths were not linked to the troubles.

The attacks on black foreigners have angered people especially Africans across the globe who have called for similar reprisal attacks on South Africans.

Herbert Mensah, who spoke to Citi news, believed African nationals are enraged over what is happening in South Africa because African governments have generally not “come out stronger” against the attacks.

“I have the feeling that most African countries are in a state of shock, I think they’re expecting Zumah to act a lot quicker and he hasn’t”, Herbert Mensah said.

According to him, the African Union has also failed Africans because “it is a bit toothless”, saying, “one would have thought that they would have come out stronger now, giving the fact that they have failed in recent past global issues to be viewed as a viable diplomatic tool to be used to end any kind of conflict”.

Condemning the attacks in Africa’s second largest country, Mr Mensah insisted it was important its (South Africa) authorities “understand that it is not something we take lightly. It is their onus to protect every single national in that country”. He added, “I will hope that behind the scenes the actions are far stronger”.

On calls for South African businesses to be boycotted, the man who has lived and managed many businesses in South Africa said the call is unnecessary, at least for now.

According to him, Africans have shown their maturity by not reacting “in a way that others would”, saying not responding in similar vein has been Africa’s “great testimony as a people”.

“I think that it is a great testimony to us as a people, but how long can it last? The situation needs to be brought under control”. Herbert Mensah said.

By: Eugenia Tenkorang/

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