“We must always realize that our humanity is inextricably bound in the humanity of others. We must also appreciate that our humanity can only reach its fullness if we defend and we affirm and advance the humanity of others.
Until we start to see each other as human beings first, belonging to the same human family, South Africa will never be a home for all.
We conveniently blame nationals from other parts of the word for all our social ills.
We blame them for poverty. We blame them for unemployment. We blame them for car hijackings and the like. That’s wrong. That must stop; that is wrong.
We must overcome what is sometimes called South African exceptionalism. This superiority on the part of South Africans that we have towards our fellow brothers and sisters from other parts of the continent.
So on this special day, we call on all communities to play their role in ridding our society of the scourge of violence against other fellow human beings.
On this special day, let us commit ourselves to sparing no energy in building a more caring and just society.
On this special day, let us commit ourselves to building a more caring and equitable society.
And on this special day, let us commit ourselves to working tirelessly to eliminate all forms of violence, discrimination and bigotry in our society.
Let us recommit ourselves to the values of human rights and human dignity, respect for each other, social justice, non-racism and non-sexism. All of these are enshrined in our constitution.
On this day, let us say ‘no’ to xenophobia.” – Rhodes University Vice Chancellor, Dr Sizwe Mabizela