Keep cool

South Africa faces one of the most troubled periods of its history.

The dimension of turmoil is not as devastating as the Boer War in the early 1900s, but the last couple of days created a similar gloomy scenario for an already critically depressed economy by the pandemic.

Nevertheless, the situation may become much worse if we do not keep a cool head to analyze the facts.

The recent mayhem of so many lost lives and property destroyed was triggered by a wide array of motivations.

The backdrop of a society divided by the historical iniquity to share the wealth, health, and job opportunities, has been repeatedly exploited by political agendas to generate all kinds of service delivery protests.

This time, the unrest has revealed latent tribalism, a scenario that can become much harmful by bringing more fuel to the fire if people are enticed to engage in a racial confrontation.

This blaze is fanned by divulging in social media alarming viewpoints that can incite more violence, racial hatred, and ultimately, the worst expression of xenophobia.

1% of the tweets came from 12 original posts that incited the violence
90 % of re-tweets were unwittingly forwarded to friends and family by pacific and law-abiding individuals.

A report about the recent violence, published by the University of Cape Town last week, retraced the origin and evolution of the social media mobilization to instigate the looting and racial hatred that devastated Kwazulu Natal and parts of Gauteng.

The study showed that it that was triggered by only about 12 Twitter accounts and that hordes of people that engaged in violence, were unwittingly instigated by 90 % of the “re-tweets”  forwarded to friends and family by pacific and law-abiding individuals.

The survey proves unquestionably that the irresponsible and sensationalist fanning of alarmist tweets did the job for the agents of instability.

A Don-Quixote way of thinking of a tiny and irrelevant minority can be very harmful to the majority of bystanders that do not share those radical views.

The best answer is to refrain from creating or divulging radical and irresponsible judgements and to continue participating with a constructive contribution for the perfect harmony and blending of cultures of such a diverse society as South Africa.

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