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'Xenophobic attacks not just local response, but organised at national level'

2 April 2019 2:07 PM
Tags:
Xenophobic attacks
KZN xenophobic attacks

Professor Jo Vearey defines xenophobia and analyses the recent spate of attacks on foreign nationals.

The attack on foreign nationals in KwaZulu Natal has been labeled xenophobic attacks. Government has denied this calling it acts of criminality.

Read: 'All xenophobic attacks of this kind are inherently criminal' says Eusebius

At least two people were killed during the violence.

In defining Xenophobia, Jo Vearey, associate professor at African Centre For Migration and Society, says it is orientational hostility against foreign nationals.

Vearey explains that the attacks on Malawian truck drivers in Durban were perpetrated by a group looking to send a strong message, claiming that employers are giving jobs to foreign nationals instead of locals.

I think we need to be careful not to conflate certain issues. Xenophobic violence is where we see patterns of behaviour which have been created, which are deliberate and organised, some including formal leaders and business coalitions to develop activities to selectively target foreign nationals.

Jo Vearey, Associate professor - African Centre For Migration and Society

This is a popular perception of what is driving xenophobic violence, she says.

She says it is not just a response at a community level, but an orchestrated structured response at a national level.

We need to be cautious because what we are seeing is actions often from community leaders at a local level, who are attacking foreign nationals in a certain way to ensure authority and garner support.

Jo Vearey, Associate professor - African Centre For Migration and Society

It is not simply the frustration at a community level around these broader injustices in South Africa.

Jo Vearey, Associate professor - African Centre For Migration and Society

To hear the rest of the conversation, listen below:


2 April 2019 2:07 PM
Tags:
Xenophobic attacks
KZN xenophobic attacks

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