Why our leaders MUST acknowledge xenophobia in South Africa

Police minister Bheki Cele has told reporters that "criminality rather than xenophobia" is to blame for the violence and looting which has swept through parts of Gauteng this week.

Cele claimed that xenophobia was being 'used as an excuse,", however, rioters have been targetting foreign-owned businesses and protesters took to the streets of Alexandria earlier calling on foreigners to leave.

The Right2Know Campaign is blaming the government for these most recent attacks.

Lizette Lancaster from the Institute for Security Studies (ISS) joined John Maytham on Tuesday to discuss the importance of leaders acknowledging xenophobia.

We have seen that in the past that when statements of a xenophobic nature are made by leaders it often is followed by this type of violence.

Lizette Lancaster, Project Manager for crime and Justice Information and Analysis Hub at ISS

The victims, ironically, are not just the foreigners or migrants, it is the people that own those buildings. In Johannesburg, foreign migrants pay rent to South Africans, they employ South Africans.

Lizette Lancaster Project Manager for crime and Justice Information and Analysis Hub at ISS

We have these myths around foreigners, but according to the victim survey 95% of South African believe that migrants are not the problem or the criminals in our area, our own people are.

Lizette Lancaster Project Manager for crime and Justice Information and Analysis Hub at ISS

Listen to the full interview below:


This article first appeared on CapeTalk : Why our leaders MUST acknowledge xenophobia in South Africa


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