Some years ago the Italian intellectual Umberto Eco blurted out something I found quite shocking. In a little book, wrongly entitled Five Moral Pieces, he wrote: “The Third World is knocking at our doors, and it will come in even if we are not in agreement. . . . Europe will become a multiracial continent—or a ‘colored’ one, if your prefer. That’s how it will be, whether you like it or not.”
Evidently the Italian president, Romano Prodi, has not heeded Eco’s fatalism, because it looks as if Italy will take the lead in Europe when it comes to the summary deportation of undesirable immigrants. But if anyone doubted the devastating effects of illegal immigration, he would need only visit my country, South Africa.
It is estimated that there are between 10 and 15 million illegal aliens from the rest of Africa in South Africa—more or less one quarter of the population! In some parts of the country, such as the Limpopo province near Zimbabwe, up to 80 percent of all crime is committed by immigrants. Nonetheless the president of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki, recently declared that his government “can do nothing” to staunch the wave of immigrants, particularly from Zimbabwe. In fact, discussions are under way to abolish all visa requirements for Zimbabweans, since the vast queues at the border “cause unnecessary delays.”
South Africa was once a Western country. Our stock exchange is older than many in Western Europe. Until recently we had more railways and roads than Great Britain. In the meantime our roads have become pot-holed, and half of our rail lines have fallen into disrepair. This is the result of Africanization, but also of illegal immigration, which has simply overwhelmed our social system.
Once there was a quarter in Johannesburg by the name of Hillbrow, known as the “Manhattan of Africa.” It was a cosmopolitan area where one could hear various European languages. I recall that as students we would have drinks at the Café Wien or the Café de Paris. There were also bookshops, and a record store known as Hillbrow Records, that had a large selection of classical music.
Today, Hillbrow is a crime-ridden slum controlled by Nigerian drug lords. Of the 100,000 Nigerians in South Africa, only 3,000 have legal visas. On any street corner one may buy, apart from heroine, a South African ID book for the equivalent of $100. Often such ID books are sold by corrupt members of the South African Home Affairs Department.
Words can no longer describe conditions in South Africa. Every day in the press we read about yesterday’s spate of murders, rapes and armed robberies. Some robbers even commit crime in police uniform. Sometimes, when victims of crime go to the nearest police station to report an armed robbery, they recognize the assailant behind the counter, wearing the nice blue uniform of a real-life policeman.
All these problems are exacerbated by uncontrolled illegal immigration. And the root of the problem is this: The racial consciousness of our black nationalist president Mbeki prevents him from taking action against illegal immigrants, even if they commit the most barbaric crimes. For him, we law-abiding Westerners of South Africa are the enemy against whom he is directing his arsenal of laws meant ultimately to drive us from the country. Whites may not trade with the state or start a corporation independently from blacks. Our children may not study in the more sought-after university disciplines because they are reserved for blacks. They must also pay exorbitant university fees while blacks may study for free.
The wrongs of South Africa can at least partially be traced to illegal immigration. In the past, millions of black Africans were drawn across our borders to the economic prosperity of our Western country, resulting in their current demographic domination. May Europe be spared our fate, and may Umberto Eco’s prediction not come true.