“Of course killing people is wrong; that is not the way to do it – but we still want them out of the country. When we fought against apartheid, we wanted to live better lives. There were almost no foreigners back then, now that that battle has been won, they flooded our country to enjoy the same rights and resources that we fought for.”
As the xenophobic violence continues, the conditions of impoverished South Africans has also been under scrutiny. Qiniso Mbili spoke to a man from Umlazi to find out his perspective; and Muhammed Ismail Bulbulia tracked down a witness of one of the multiple xenophobic attacks.
Must-read, this week
Xenophobia commentary round-up: Haroon Meer reckons the middle class has a lot to answer for; Pontsho Pilane points out that xenophobia isn’t only the preserve of impoverished people; Khadija Patel looks at structural violence in our society; and Abu O’Well calls out middle-class outrage. Achille Mbembe writes that no African is a foreigner in Africa; Zukiswa Wanner issues a call to boycott South Africa; Nosimilo Ramela reflects on her experience reporting on the 2008 xenophobia; and Loren Landau asks if we’ve learnt anything since then.
In contrast to the competing factions at last week’s peace march in Durban, the people of Johannesburg stood united in a march against xenophobia yesterday. An estimated 30,000 people marched through the CBD to show their solidarity with foreign nationals subjected to xenophobia.
The Rhodes Must Fall movement may have toppled the Cecil John Rhodes statue from its proud perch at UCT, but tributes to Rhodes still abound throughout our country – not least when it comes to fine wining and dining. We think we’ll give the Boschendal Cecil John Reserve shiraz a miss, thank you very much.
The week ahead
On Monday it’s Freedom Day – take the chance to remember Madiba’s legacy by taking a virtual tour of Robben Island. For the rest of the week, we’ll continue to follow up on the xenophobic violence, as well as examine the socioeconomic conditions that give rise to such outbreaks. Don’t forget to let us know if you’d like to contribute your own stories or pictures about xenophobia in your community.