CALL IT XENOPHOBIA ALL YOU LIKE
ACTOR Hlomla Dandala has received backlash after sharing his opinion, which was viewed by many as inciting xenophobia. He went to social media to express his views on how Joburg suburbs, such as Yeoville and Hillbrow, are reminders of how much we’ve lost to African nations because these neighbourhoods have now regressed. Determined to stick by his statement, the actor pre-empted people’s reactions and went on to say, “Call it xenophobia all you like, but truth is truth.”
PAMELA NOMVETE CALLS HIM OUT
Hlomla's sentiments didn’t sit well with many people while others agreed with him. One of the people who were not shy to call out The River actor was Ethiopian-born and UK-raised actress, Pamela Nomvete.
The former Generations actress responded to her colleague in showbiz cautioning him of his short-sighted views.
“You know I am in the UK at the moment and this dangerous way of thinking is prevalent here against ‘foreigners’. South Africans are included in this. They look at all non-British as bringing the quality of the country down. Shortsighted and dangerously delusion. Sad,” she said.
A HAVEN FOR CRIME
Hlomla did not mince his words but tried to explain what he actually meant.
“Let me explain what I mean by ‘lost’ then you all can debate it among yourselves. South Africa has been at war with squalor,” he said.
“You see it in townships everywhere throughout the country. Hillbrow, Berea and Yeoville were unique in that they became one of South Africa’s first multicultural neighbourhoods where races could live together.”
He went on to reminisce about the early 1990s when these neighbourhoods were safe and people lived in harmony. However, according to Hlomla, that has all changed for the worst as these areas have come to be a haven for all the wrong elements.
“In observing these areas, it’s not hard to see who makes up the bulk of the gangs in those areas. To argue about the nationality of the residents means nothing. It’s who is in the gangs and the level to which those communities are terrorised that is the yardstick I am using,” he said, concluding, “We’ve lost those neighbourhoods to criminal gangs consisting of primarily foreign nationals.”
Pamela shot back saying, “So, your sentiment is not a healthy one because it breeds this sense of negating our humanity. You attack foreigners at home, your people are being attacked as foreigners elsewhere. Respect, tolerance and respect for all human dignity. Not misguided prejudice,” she said.
When Move! contacted Hlomla, he said, “I don’t directly speak to the media.” Pamela could not be reached for comment.