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What Happened to the Rainbow Nation
Transcript of What Happened to the Rainbow Nation
1. Introduction to South Africa
2. Apartheid: Pre-1994
3. Definition of Xenophobia
4. Xenophobia in the South African Context
5. May 2008 Attacks
6. Possible Causes
8. The Future - Possible Solutions
9. Video Apartheid: Brief Introduction Established in 1948 by the National Party.
Based on the idea of separate development of different racial groups.
Preserve the dominance of the white minority.
Black people received significantly less than their white counterparts.
Mixing of different racial groups was strictly prohibited - isolation and compartmentalization set the stage for the fear of the "other." In 1994, the country had its first democratic elections.
Archbishop Desmond Tutu coined the term "Rainbow Nation" to celebrate diversity.
South Africa entered a new era. Definition of Xenophobia "Intense or irrational dislike or fear of people from other countries." - Oxford English Dictionary Xenophobia in the South African Context It is carried out in an intensely violent manner.
Adopted from the violent approach of apartheid. Violent protests during the era were a means to solving problems.
Psychosocial behavior of residents in informal settlements tend to be violent.
It is widely believed that apartheid created a violent country - homicide rate is 33.8 per 100,000 people today. Discrimination of targets - mostly sub-Saharan Africans.
Many are undocumented and come with very few resources. Xenophobic violence mostly prevalent in urban disadvantaged communities (townships).
Characteristics heighten the chances of violence.
Legacy of apartheid - poor areas lacking housing, electricity, and other resources. Mostly populated by black people. Violence has been described as a competition for resources.
Few reports of xenophobic violence in suburban areas.
Some residents of townships have blamed foreigners as the cause of problems such as drugs, high crime levels, and high unemployment. “If you are a local and they ask you how much you want to be paid a day… and you say two hundred and fifty bucks, but when the [a] foreigner comes and say[s] fifty bucks is fine. So I think, ja [yes], they are stealing our jobs because you can’t just say fifty bucks is fine."
- Sipho, resident of Diepsloot, Johannesburg. May 2008 Attacks On May 11, 2008, residents of Alexandra, Johannesburg, turned violent against their foreign neighbors.
Day 1: one Zimbabwean and one South African killed, 60 people seriously injured, 2 rape victims.
Day 2: one murder victim, 2 more rape victims, and 56 people injured. Businesses, homes, and property owned by foreigners are looted.
Violence carried on for two weeks and spread to other townships across the country, such as Diepsloot, Tembisa, Katlehong, etc.
In total, 62 people were murdered, 35,000 homes were torn apart, and over 100,000 foreigners fled to their country of origin. Responses to the Attacks Perception of indifference given off by officials.
Minister of Police, Mr. Nathi Mthethwa, dismissed reports of xenophobia and blamed the media for blowing the violence out of proportion.
Ms. Nomvula Mokonyane, the Premier of Gauteng, refused to acknowledge the violence as xenophobic.
Only Gauteng and Western Cape declared provincial disasters - two weeks after the attacks broke out.
Role of the police - very ineffective and needed assistance of the army. Of the 500 cases, 41% had been dropped and only 27% were finalized, including only 1 murder conviction. Possible Causes of Xenophobia Psychological Effects of Colonization and Apartheid Extended white supremacy created a distorted image of self-hate amongst South Africans.
"Oppression debilitates the psyche of the oppressed, which leads eventually to depression or expression of anger and self-hate, which by the process of symmetric logic can as easily be directed at others in the vicinity who are like me." - David Matsinhe, professor of African Studies, Carleton University, Ottawa, Canada. Army troops and the Public Order Police Unit were deployed to the townships, but it was too late. Most foreigners had fled and most businesses had been looted.
Officials from the South African Police Services (SAPS) refused to label the attacks as xenophobic. Instead they were "80% criminal and 20% xenophobic." Signs of predictability:
In early May 2008 at the Alexandra Community Policing Forum, residents identified foreign nationals as a threat to social and economic interests.
A representative from "Sector Two" warned that if the police did nothing, members of his constituency would "take up arms and drive out criminals and foreigners themselves." These were not the first xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
In 1995, 400 residents in Alexandra violently protested, demanding the immediate eviction of foreigners.
In 1997, Mozambicans were regularly attacked by youth in Alexandra and surrounding areas.
In September 1998, 2 Senegalese and 1 Mozambican were thrown off a moving train in Johannesburg by a group who had returned from a march at which migrants were blamed for crime, unemployment, and the spread of HIV and AIDS.
In 2006, there was a surge of attacks aimed at Somali immigrants in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape. Between 20 and 30 Somalis were killed in a period of a month. "There is nowhere else on this continent where people are so angry... Even in Addis [Ethiopia], where people have been taught from childhood that Somalia is their natural enemy, you do not encounter the hatred you encounter in South Africa."
- A Somali national living in Cape Town "They called me a kaffir and a Nigerian puss. They kicked me, bashed me with their guns and fists. In fact they hit me with any object within their reach. They poured chemicals into my mouth and eyes."
- A Nigerian national living in Johannesburg, South Africa Scapegoating Residents in townships often blame many of their hardships on the presence of immigrants - Immigrants tend to reside in these areas.
Quality of life in many townships are significantly lower than that of suburban life. The national unemployment rate is 24.9% and as much as 50% of the population lives below the poverty line. "We are fed up with these foreigners. These people come here and take our jobs and accept below inflation salaries. We cannot compete with them because we have families, while they only have themselves to look after."
- A resident of Alexandra, Johannesburg "The approach for the Somalis to come and just settle in our midst is a wrong one. Somalis should remain in their country. They shouldn't come here to multiply and increase our population, and in the future, we shall suffer. The more they come to South Africa to do business, the more the locals will continue killing them."
- A resident of Motherwell, Port Elizabeth The failed South African renaissance has greatly contributed to xenophobic attitudes. Only a fraction of black South Africans have been lifted out of poverty since the end of apartheid.
When foreigners enter the country and appear to have benefits that some South Africans don't have, residents become furious. The influx of immigrants (both legal and illegal) worsens the case of scapegoating.
In 2011, South Africa received the highest number of asylum applications in the world, with more than 106,900 filled out. In addition, there are currently 277,400 refugees and asylum seekers living in the country.
Migration officials estimate that up to 5 million undocumented migrants reside in the country, with up to 1.5 million of them being Zimbabwean alone. The language that many politicians and the media use contribute to xenophobic attitudes.
Words such as "Human tsunami", "Border jumpers", "Illegals", "Makwerekwere", etc.
Statements such as "There's no war in Zimbabwe." Justifications for Xenophobic Behavior Unfair Trading Practices:
Undocumented aliens are more attractive to employers because they do not qualify for minimum wage. Perception of Criminal Activities. The Future: Possible Solutions The Nelson Mandela Foundation has created processes of community dialogues that help combat xenophobia and promote tolerance.
The complexity of this issue has made coming up with long-term solutions very difficult. The majority of the nation has acknowledged this, but no long-term solutions have been made.
The Department of Home Affairs and the South African Police Services need to tighten border controls. The country does not have the capacity to handle the current amount of undocumented aliens.
Improving the quality of life in informal settlements will possibly decrease scapegoating. Xenophobia in South Africa By Lazola Nyamakazi '13 "Everyone is equal before the law and has the right to equal protection and benefit of the law."
- The South African Bill of Rights Since 1994, the number of foreign migrants coming into South Africa has drastically increased.
Some come from economically deprived countries, such as Zimbabwe, Malawi, etc.
Some come from war-torn countries, such as Mozambique, DRC, Somalia, etc. Thank You Very Much Entrepreneur advantages of immigrants. "It is [a] hatred of blacks against blacks in which white foreigners are seen as tourists and black foreigners as 'makwerekwere'."
- A Nigerian national living in Johannesburg