This shouldn’t be happening again. That’s the feeling almost everyone has as people who are not from here are attacked in South Africa once more, fatally in some cases. It’s impossible to think of the violence that gripped parts of Durban this week, and the fear that gripped part of the Jo’burg CBD, without thinking of the people who died in 2008. In formal society, there is now much hand-wringing, campaigning and hash-tagging.
People want to know what can be done to stop it, why it is happening, and whether this evil will ever leave us. Some blame King Goodwill Zwelithini for saying foreigners should go, some blame Number One for failing to act (which is not true), and some blame Apartheid. In the end, the job of unpacking reasons for xenophobia is not so complicated.
You can bet a lot of money that the subtext that will be taken from pictures and descriptions in some of the foreign media will include a claim that our people are inherently violent, and inherently hate people who are not South African. Some of that sub-text will have a racial tinge to it. And while it can be difficult to…
Source : Daily Maverick