South Africa Turns on Its Immigrants

A man washes his face outside a shelter for displaced foreigners in east of Johannesburg, South Africa, April 21, 2015. (AP photo)

The New York Times

By DANIEL MAGAZINER and SEAN JACOBS

Updated: APRIL 24, 2015

For the third time in seven years, violence against immigrants has broken out across South Africa. Pogroms that began in late March in Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal Province, have now spread to Johannesburg.

Since the end of apartheid in 1994, approximately five million immigrants have settled in South Africa; most are Africans from further north pursuing economic opportunity or refugees seeking the political stability of the continent’s most highly developed nation.

Black South Africans, most of whom remain poor and marginalized in the post-apartheid era, have watched warily for years as networks of Malawians, Somalis, Ethiopians, Zimbabweans, Nigerians and Mozambicans have begun to build small businesses and take advantage of South Africa’s opportunities.

The most recent paroxysm of violence appears to have been prompted by derogatory remarks by the Zulu king, Goodwill Zwelithini, who demanded that foreigners leave the country, insinuating that they are “lice” and “ants.” The king has since issued a half-apology, saying his statements were taken out of context. Many of his subjects, though, took his words literally.

Read more at NYTimes.com »

Related:
Strong Words Start, May End, South African Xenophobic Attacks (VOA)
South Africans Protest Xenophobia, Violence on Social Media (CNN)
South Africa: Foreign-owned Shops Looted Despite Zuma Call for Peace (BBC News)
South Africa Mob Sets Two Ethiopian Brothers on Fire Inside Shipping Container
Thousands flee after South Africa mobs attack immigrants (CNN)
South Africa grapples with outbreak of anti-immigrant violence (The Los Angeles Times)

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