xenophobia in South Africa

Xenophobia in South Africa



arrest national xenophobia
fuel (2) consulate come under attack
loot ignite (2) recognition (2)
caution torch (3) related (2)
factor clear (2) opportunity
limit violence unemployment
justify attitude frustration
act (2) suggest destruction
excuse reprisal set on fire
smash embassy shut down
carrier target (2) suspend (2)
risk ongoing exercise caution
urge wanton grievance






South Africa Xenophobia

More than 400 arrested for attacking foreigners.

Cutler Horn, Johannesburg, one of several neighborhoods were foreign nationals have come under attack. Two people died here after they were set on fire.

Police say it’s unclear whether the killings are related to the attacks and looting of foreign-owned shops.

On Wednesday, in another part of Johannesburg, two bodies were found burnt beyond recognition in such shops that had been torched by looters.

The riots began eight days ago in the capital Pretoria. Both cities have large immigrant populations.

It is unclear what ignited the latest attacks, but some suggest one of the factors fueling the violence is the country’s high unemployment and limited economic opportunities.

South Africa’s president, Cyril Ramaphosa says attacks on foreign nationals cannot be justified.

Cyril Ramaphosa, South African President: “No amount of anger and frustration and grievance can justify such acts of wanton destruction and criminality. There can be no excuse for the attacks on the homes and businesses of foreign nationals.”

The violence has led to reprisals in other parts of the continent. In the Democratic Republic of Congo, South Africa’s consulate in Lubumbashi had its windows smashed, and South African owned stores around the country have been targeted.

In Nigeria, South Africa’s embassy in the capital Abuja is closed, as well as stores belonging to telecommunications giant, MTN, after they were attacked by protesters.

Oti Daniel, Abuja, Nigeria Resident: “The embassy needs to shut down. All the South African embassies and companies need to shut down. You are talking about SDV. You are talking about MTN. Any construction company. You needs to be shut these guys down.”

Tanzania’s national carrier suspended flights from Del Salaam to Johannesburg, saying the ongoing violence was a risk to its passengers.

Other African are warning their nationals to exercise caution while in South Africa, and are urging Pretoria to do more in changing attitudes towards migrants.


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1. Being an immigrant small-business owner in South Africa can be very risky. True or false?

2. Is the cause of such assaults and looting entirely due to xenophobia?

3. Is the government (officially) condemning or condoning the violence or has it remained silent?

4. Have there been reactions for the xenophobic violence in South Africa.

5. Only South African nationals in other parts of Africa have been assaulted. Is this right or wrong?

6. Have the riots and looting in South Africa affected trade and business in Africa?

7. Other African governments have called for war against South Africa. Is this correct or incorrect?


A. Are there immigrants or ethnic minorities in your city or country? What sort of work, occupation or business are they engaged in?

B. Who are the shop keepers or small business owners? Are they local or “foreign”? Do the merchants belong to another class? Are they integrated or separated from the rest of the community?

C. Is there resentment towards shop owners or small business people?

D. Can you think of similar groups in the world?

E. What can or should the government, the community and business people do?

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