Xenophobia in South Africa

South Africa’s Rising Xenophobia

According to this article, xenophobia in South Africa results from long term insecurity.  In South Africa, xenophobia has existed for many years, causing increasing episodes of violence. Unfortunately, the death toll from these instances show that violence is rising, and is completely unchecked by the South African government. Xenophobia in South Africa is completely baseless, and is made even more shameful by the fact that most victims are from Nigeria, Zimbabwe, or other countries that helped South Africa a great deal during the recent apartheid.  The author then expresses anger over the treatment of Nigerians in particular.

All Africa.com. “Africa: South Africa’s Rising Xenophobia.” All Africa.Com. http://allafrica.com/stories/200805280850.html (accessed June 18, 2008).


Broke-on-Broke Violence:  What the U.S. Press Got Wrong About South Africa’s Xenophobic Riots

Chance brings to light several commonly reported “facts” concerning the xenophobic riots in South Africa. As each inaccuracy is explained, she corrects the misconceptions, creating a much more accurate, if not black and white, picture. Chance mostly contributes the rioter’s anger to poverty, as well as nationalistic views encouraged by many of South Africa’s politicians, most notably Jacob Zuma, the president of the African National Congress. Chance finishes by comparing the “elbow” test in which South Africans decide if someone is a foreigner or not by the “pencil” test which was used by the police during apartheid to decide if someone was black or not.

Chance, Kerry. “Broke-on-Broke Violence:  What the U.S. Press Got Wrong About South Africa’s Xenophobic Riots.” Slate Magazine. http://www.slate.com/?id=2193949 (accessed June 21, 2008).


Xenophobia a Challenge – Mushelenga

Sasman interviews Nkrumah Mushelenga, the Commissioner for Refugees of Namibia, about xenophobia in Africa.  Mushelenga admits that xenophobia is unrealistic in a continent that is trying to move towards unity.  He suggests that the best way to fight and prevent xenophobia is through education, and that it is up to the nation’s leaders to inform the citizens about the benefits of having immigrants in their country.  Mushelenga also attributes xenophobia to poverty and the free market economy system. However, Mushelenga keeps a positive outlook, describing xenophobia as a challenge rather than a problem.

Mushelenga, Nkrumah. “Interview by Catherine Sasman: Xenophobia a Challenge.” All Africa.com. http://allafrica.com/stories/200806170528.html (accessed June 17, 2008).


A Violent Assault on our Collective Humanity

Banda suggests that people in South Africa need to make the fight against xenophobia a top priority. In the article, xenophobia is defined, and examples of various forms of xenophobia are given, including how the media and politicians fabricate xenophobia by using the immigrants as a scapegoat.  Banda explains that the environment in South Africa susceptible to xenophobia because of years of apartheid capitalism.  Furthermore, discriminatory immigration laws leave foreigners vulnerable to abuse from citizens.  Banda claims that, if xenophobia is not conquered, South Africa may beheaded towards significant division within the country.

Banda, Azwell, Russel Grinker, and Siv Helen Hesjedal. “A Violent Assault on Our Collective Humanity.” Daily Dispatch Online. http://www.dispatch.co.za/article.aspx?id=215413 (accessed June 20, 2008).