Category Archives: xenophobia

Urgent Request for Intervention in the Crisis in Grahamstown

26 October 2015

Press Statement from Voices of the Foreigners’ Wives


Urgent Request for Intervention in the Crisis in Grahamstown

We are all wives of men who came to South Africa from other countries. There are more than a hundred of us. Our husbands come from Bangladesh, China, Egypt, Ethiopia, Ghana, Malawi, Nigeria, Pakistan, Palestine, Senegal, Somalia, Sudan and Zimbabwe. Most of us are Muslims. We pray at the Mosque on the university campus. People call us ‘the kwarra wives’.

Our husbands came to South Africa from other countries looking for a better life. They are now South Africans. They have IDs and passports. They have the right to vote. Our husbands came here for a better life and they work here and have families here. But they are treated like dogs. Their lives count less than a packet of chips. Continue reading

Understanding and Overcoming Xenophobia: A One Day Colloquium



At the present moment, xenophobic practices in South Africa are taking a number of nefarious forms from the exclusion of foreign students and staff from universities through the denial of visas, to the systematic unleashing of mob and state violence against the weakest sections of our population. This violence in particular has gone so far as to invade the sanctuary of churches and has included the deployment of the military and not just the police against poor communities thus treating the latter as potential enemies. It has recently become clearer in fact that xenophobia is not a problem of poverty but primarily a problem of identity politics endemic to South Africa, a kind of politics which state institutions and their agents have been pursuing since the early 1990s. Most analyses reduce the question of xenophobia to one of criminality and poverty and deplore xenophobic practices without offering much in terms of ideas for a solution.

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Daily Maverick: The Army vs. Thembelihle: Where the truth lies

Richard Poplak

At around 3:30am last Wednesday, a young man named Sipho Dlamini was startled awake by insistent knocking. It was the sort of baton-on-zinc wake-up call that people have been experiencing in this country for generations. When he leapt out of bed and approached the source of the commotion, Dlamini couldn’t help but notice that his shack was surrounded by a phalanx of cops and soldiers. The law had shown up before dawn on this chilly morning, ostensibly to deal with the problem of xenophobic violence. But Dlamini wasn’t involved in xenophobic violence—in fact, he was involved in protecting foreign nationals from xenophobic violence—and he suspected that the men with guns might have arrived with something else in mind. When the first blows connected, he knew he was right.

“Ah, comrade, they were very rough,” Dlamini told me. Continue reading

The Times: More than 180 arrests in raid on Thembelihle informal settlement

Police‚ metro cops army and home affairs officials descended on the Thembelihle informal settlement near Lenasia on Thursday morning.

Police spokesperson Lieutenant Kay Makhubela‚ who said Thembelihle had been identified as a hotspot for violent crimes‚ told RDM News Wire that‚ at the time of publication‚ more than 180 people‚ including illegal immigrants‚ had been taken into custody.

“It’s more than that [180]‚ much more‚ and we expect to make many more arrests for various crimes during the course of the day‚” said Makhubela. “We will be here the whole day.”

A media briefing with arrest statistics is expected to held later on Thursday. Continue reading