Reacting to reports of a crackdown of the black community in China in a press statement dated the 12, April 2020; the leadership of the South Africa Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), a Pan African political party called on the leaders of the continent and its chairperson, Mr. Cyril Ramaphosa to “ensure the safety and well-being of Africans across the globe and the unconditional repatriation of all Africans in China”.
Recent measures to combat the spread of COVID-19 in China has generated widespread systematic racist abuse of Africans across China, chiefly by the Chinese police. The Chinese city of Guangzhou with a considerable population of African students and businessmen have been the top target.
Students, African community leaders, and businessmen have been subjected to mandatory quarantine despite testing negative few days earlier. Local bars and restaurants were reportedly, equally ordered to stop serving “anyone from Africa” with unfounded rumors that “black people” are the carriers of the virus.
Video and images of Africans, who have been evicted from their hotels and residents sleeping on the street have been spread widely on social media, causing a strong debate on racism over social media.
In the statement, the EFF “…Condemn in the strongest possible terms the abuse and racist treatment of Africans working and living in China; particularly at a time when [all] should be supporting one another to recover from the Coronavirus pandemic”
The leadership of the continent has been under intense criticism for failing to openly condemn the recent treatment of Africans in China.
The far-left Pan-Africanist political party and its leader, Julius Malema is known for his strong stance against racism, especially in South Africa where racism is still highly persistent.
While several African diplomats have issued separate statements revealing that the authorities in China are being engaged on the matter, Beijing have not yet issued any comment over the accusations. We will continue to monitor the developments in the story.
By Lawrence Audu