Posts Tagged ‘south africa’

Editorial: Normalising Xenophobia

June 12, 2008

Editorial
Normalizing xenophobia
by Azad Essa

The barbaric violence, including the intimidation and killings that silenced the ho hum of the rainbow nation for the past three weeks has finally subsided.Ordinary South Africans, after witnessing the bloodshed sprayed all over their newspapers and television screens, appear to have returned to the daily drama of their own lives. Of course, the mass rioting might have stopped, but isolated incidents continue to reverberate sporadically across the country.

It is rather the South African government’s feeble approach to finding caring solutions to this and other crises that force one to question government commitment.

But even government inaction can’t hold out for so long.

You can bet your bottom Zim dollar that government will respond eventually. A xenophobia related conference will be arranged, a set of international rock stars will fly over for a Madiba-inspired concert, mass t-shirts and other such memorabilia will be sold. And if we really lucky, we might even get another public holiday.

Azad Essa is a journalist and researcher based at IOLS-Research

http://iolsresearch.ukzn.ac.za/aae15038.aspx

Crisis…What Crisis?

May 26, 2008

Focus on Xenophobia
Crisis…what crisis?
by David Bullard

Before I got axed from the Sunday Times I wrote a couple of columns commenting on President Mbeki’s rather dismissive attitude towards Zimbabwean immigrants. He once made a remark along the lines of ”they are here so get used to it”. I argued that we owed Zimbabweans fleeing from a despotic regime rather more than that. Unless they were absorbed into society, given identity documents and their talents utilized we were in for big trouble.

Governments don’t like to be told what to do by journalists and that’s partly why I am no longer writing for the Sunday Times I suspect and why I am unable to find employment with any other newspaper.

I take no delight in being proven right over these past two weeks. The mayhem in the informal settlements is reminiscent of the 1980’s with the difference that in the 1980’s people were fighting for their freedom. That still didn’t excuse the necklacings and the kangaroo courts set up to decide if somebody was guilty of being a ”traitor”. Today’s situation is altogether more frightening and irrational.

Or is it?

http://iolsresearch.ukzn.ac.za/DB14676.aspx

 

Editorial: What Now?

May 26, 2008

Editorial
What now?
by Aisha Lorgat

Now we have all seen it, here and abroad, emblazoned like a shameful scarlet letter in media images and news feeds that are strikingly similar to the beginnings of the Rwandan genocide. Horrifying images of necklacing, the punishment meted out in township justice during apartheid that everyone, we certainly, assumed had no place in the new South Africa, return to haunt our collective consciousness again. The crime this time however, was not being an informant or askari, but that the man burning to appease the blood lust of the mob had committed the truly despicable crime of being born north of the Limpopo.

All of us in South Africa need to decide if we are indeed ‘African’ at all. The fractured schizophrenic identity games we play with ourselves and others are becoming extremely damaging. If South Africa is indeed part of Africa then we need to commit ourselves to the continent, not just in trite statements, and not in a patronising ‘big-brother’ way. Instead we need to recognise that we all on this bright continent are linked to each other integrally; that the umbilical cord to the heart of our Africanness may be damaged but that it can never be severed without killing us in the process.

http://iolsresearch.ukzn.ac.za/ALL14675.aspx

 

Reflections of a Zimbabwean student

May 26, 2008

UKZN STUDENTS SPEAK OUT
Xenophobia in South Africa

The musings of a Zimbabwean postgraduate student at UKZN
by Eslidha Chimedza


The past two weeks, and God knows until when, in South Africa, have been hell for anyone who is not of this land; the so called ”foreigner”. The attacks on foreign nationals has left us turning our heads, looking over our shoulders every few meters, switching off our cell phones in public, in fear of being heard conversing in an unrecognized language. My own language has become taboo in fear of being victimized for not being South African, except when I am in the company of fellow country mates.

Foreigners in South Africa are living the ”witchcraft era” once again, accused of grabbing jobs, benefiting from housing projects meant for locals and the most unforgivable sin as highlighted by e-news, is ”taking our women”. I wonder if ‘apartheid’ is turning in its grave, happy witness to the current chaos. How on earth is burning another man alive, beating people to death, raping women and torturing people with pangas, knobkerries, knives, stones, guns and any object liable to be a weapon, the best way to deal with problems. I will live to retell the fear that I felt and saw, written on the faces of fellow foreign students, as we took all of this in each and everyday from the television, newspapers and internet. Each night, we huddle together in the TV room to see this happening to people like us, wondering when it will be our turn.

http://iolsresearch.ukzn.ac.za/Es14677.aspx

 

Is Government nurturing Xenophobia?

May 26, 2008

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.

http://iolsresearch.ukzn.ac.za/SGX14680.aspx

 

South Africa Safe from Scrutiny

May 26, 2008

Focus on Xenophobia
South Africa
remains safe from serious scrutiny
by Azad Essa

Media coverage on international news networks, like BBC and Sky, have had a field day broadcasting shocking images of recent events in South Africa: foreigners set alight, newly orphaned children clutching the hands of stranger’s and angry violent mobs ruling the streets of our business capital, Johannesburg. Likewise, our local press has expressed outrage, with dailies publishing very disturbing photographs on their front pages, both in protest and to cash in on the unfolding drama.

These are Africans being maimed and killed. While it signals a humanitarian crisis, it does not warrant a potent response from the developed world, as attacks on American or English citizens would generate. Until and unless it is in the interest of strong International powers to intervene and pressure the South African government to cipher solutions for the number of mitigating factors that have contributed to this tragedy, South Africa remains safe from serious scrutiny.

http://iolsresearch.ukzn.ac.za/aaae14722.aspx


SA: A Land of Refuge?

May 26, 2008

UKZN STUDENTS SPEAK OUT
SA: a land of refuge?
by
Joly Lutakwa

Having witnessed the impact of similar attacks toward people who are different from ”Us”, in countries like Rwanda, Somalia and the DRC, I feel extreme concern about the fact that people are being attacked without a real or defendable cause, other than being (perceived as) different. We would never have imagined that black South Africans, after years of apartheid and experiencing what it meant to be treated differently, would fail to tolerate these unfortunate fellow Africans seeking safety within their borders. What is the point of being able to say that South Africa has acted in a praiseworthy way during the last war of apartheid, if we have nothing positive to say about what has been done in the current one?

http://iolsresearch.ukzn.ac.za/JLl14686.aspx

 

Slice of Life by Quraisha Daya

May 14, 2008

Slice of Life by Quraisha Daya

April 22, 2008

Editorial- The end of a credible South Africa

April 21, 2008

Editorial
The end of a credible South Africa

       by Azad Essa

Indeed, the imagery of a nation that narrowly avoided bloodshed through tactical Gandhiism by all sides are what make up bedtime stories in troubled places as far afield as Kashmir and Armenia.  In fact, no matter how hard Manto tried to match perceptions of South Africa’s intellectual capacity with those preconceived, dangerous, and racist stereotypes of Africans with the help of her beetroot fantasies, and no matter how many times the media has showcased Zuma publicly exposing his medialized macho Zulu ego, and belief in shower cure-alls across the globe, South Africa’s hold on the moral high ground was secure. Until last week, that is..

http://iolsresearch.ukzn.ac.za/CR13992.aspx