Focus on Xenophobia
Is Government nurturing xenophobia?
by Steven Gordon
The recent wave of extreme xenophobic violence only serves to highlight a trend that has been developing within South Africa since the dawn of our celebrated democracy. For over a decade, state officials, law enforcement personnel and ordinary citizens have participated in abuses, frequently violent abuses, against foreigners. These abuses were, more often than not, sanctioned or at least ignored by the legitimate guardians of constitutional law.
Xenophobia, in South Africa, is not based on conflicting ethnicities but rather on the position of the immigrant before the law and lawmaking bodies. This moves beyond the law’s failed promise to protect immigrants and rests with the treatment of foreigners in the eyes of the law.