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Black against black in South Africa

South Africa / The xenophobic unrest in South Africa in recent weeks has cost at least seven people's lives, including one child.


Black immigrants from other African countries are at risk – they are harassed, beaten and killed. Immigrant homes and immigrant shops have been vandalized and robbed. Well over 300 people have been arrested by the police. Whites and Asians have so far gone free, with the exception of one episode on Friday: Then two South Africans tried to break into a Pakistani store in Soweto. The two culprits were taken care of by the police after being apprehended by local residents. They were then soaked in gasoline, according to South African Times Live. On Sunday morning, another brutal murder took place: A man from Mozambique was harassed and stabbed with many witnesses present, including a photographer from the Sunday Times. Three people have been arrested and will be brought to court as early as Tuesday, the same day as Ny Tid goes to press. Police are also hunting for a fourth perpetrator. These are the largest anti-immigration riots in South Africa since 2008, when 62 people were killed and several hundred injured in just over two weeks. A person from Mozambique was also burned alive. That case was dropped in 2010, although a witness has been able to point out two of the perpetrators above the Times Live newspaper. The witness says that the police never returned to the scene for questioning and investigation. One of the appointees is still in the same area. The investigation is summarized on one page.

Hate speech

Isiphingo, a suburb just south of the seaside resort port of Durban, has experienced the worst of the unrest. Here, approximately 7000 immigrants have sought refuge in official and police-controlled areas. The unrest has spread to Soweto and Johannesburg. Durban, Johannesburg and Soweto are the second, third and fourth largest cities in South Africa after Cape Town, respectively. Durban is a popular tourist city on the west coast of South Africa by the Indian Ocean, and is traditionally KwaZulu-Natal country. The riots began after KwaZulu-Natal King Goodwill Zwelithini delivered a highly controversial speech on March 23, which has been reported to South Africa's National Defense Union as a violation of the right to dignity, security, life, movement and residence established in Bill of Rights. The country's human rights commission is also investigating whether it classifies as hate speech. After an introduction in which the king explained that he could not wait for politicians who think about elections and votes, he spoke out strongly against illegal immigrants: "We are talking about people who do not want to listen, who do not want to work, who are thieves, child rapists and burglars. These are people who are lazy and do not want to plow the earth. When people look at them, they will say, 'Let's take advantage of the idiots in this country.' As I stand here talking, you will find their ugly goods hanging around our stores, and they are dirty to our streets. We can not even recognize which store belongs to whom – there are foreigners everywhere. "We ask foreign nationals to pack up their belongings and return to their home countries." The Zulu king first tried to refute the allegations that he had been critical of immigrants, until his speech was published and transcribed in a newspaper. After much pressure, he gave a new speech at the famous Moses Mabhida Stadium in Durban on Monday 20 April. The stadium is named after the politician and former general secretary of the South African Communist Party, and is a landmark in Durban. In this speech, he described the acts of violence as vile, and defended himself against the accusations that his previous comments had been a reason for them. "We must ensure that no more foreigners are attacked. We must stop these shameful acts, "Zwelithini said in front of thousands of supporters. Nevertheless, hostile sections of the audience sang songs urging immigrants to leave the country, and they also bowed to a former speaker who said that foreigners had the right to live in South Africa. Last week, 5000 people marched in the streets of Durban to protest xenophobia. Among the slogans were "Down with xenophobia" and "A united Africa". At the same time, there were confrontations between police and xenophobes elsewhere in the city. There have also been several confrontations between police and xenophobes elsewhere in the country, not least in Johannesburg. The police have used water cannons, stun grenades and rubber bullets.

Vandalized statue

The controversy surrounding the Cecil Rhodes statue in Cape Town is also believed to have ignited during the riots. On April 8, Zimbabwe's President Mugabe paid his first official visit to South Africa in 20 years, giving a 45-minute manuscript speech – instead of the planned 10 minutes set aside for both him and the President of South Africa. Jacob Zuma. In addition to accusing the West of killing Libya's Muammar Ghadaffi and Iraq's Saddam Hussein solely for access to more oil, Mugabe duly mentioned the Cecil Rhodes statue in Cape Town. The bronze statue was torn down the day after the speech, after a month of protests from the city's students. Opposition Party EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) has taken the blame for several of the vandalisms of the Rhodes sculptures in both Cape Town and Pretoria. In January this year, Mugabe took over as leader of the African Union, where he immediately focused on climate change, Ebola and improved infrastructure – in addition to clearly saying that African wealth belongs to Africa and not "imperialists and colonialists". After the riots spread in South Africa, he has harshly condemned these "anti-African" tendencies, citing how Zimbabwe was an important supporter of South Africans during the apartheid era. President Zuma condemned the unrest in the country in a speech to parliament on Thursday last week. Some would say he took a long time to come up with such a condemnation, especially since his eldest son Edward was immediately out with full support for the Zulu king's proposal in an interview with News24 in March: "We must be aware that we as land is sitting on a ticking bomb as [the foreigners] take over the country, "he said, and continued:" The reason I say this is that some of these foreigners work for private security companies where they have been employed as cheap labor. These companies fail to comply with South African labor laws. Foreigners must leave the country. " Edward Zuma also accused foreigners of being responsible for much of the drug distribution in the country, and also emphasized that foreigners bring weapons. Unlike King Goodwill Zwelithini, he also included whites and Asians. President Jacob Zuma is himself a Zulu, and the African National Congress' close connection to and support of the always leopard-clad Zulu king is no secret – rather, it is something that is often noticed. Even though extreme poverty is now down to just over 20 per cent, this still amounts to around 12 million people in populous South Africa. Relative poverty accounts for about 45 per cent, while unemployment is 24 per cent. Official figures estimate that the country has two million immigrants, while other estimates say five million. It is estimated that close to one million of these are economic and political refugees from Zimbabwe. Only four percent of South African workers are foreigners, and in most cases they contribute to the economy by renting premises, taxes and hiring local South Africans. Foreigners who run companies employ more South Africans than South African companies do, according to a study by the Migrating for Work Research Consortium based on data from Statistics South Africa. Although much of the mind of many black South Africans is still directed at whites and their control over vast riches and lands, remarks and considerations similar to Edward Zuma's are not entirely uncommon in today's South Africa – although condemnations of recent weeks' violence have been massive. , not least on social media.

Economic foundation

After Nigeria, South Africa is the richest country in Africa, but it is strongly affected by corruption. At least 700 billion South African rand (equivalent to 456 billion Norwegian kroner) have been used for corruption in the last 20 years, according to figures published by the Institute of Internal Auditors on 15 April this year. In addition, there are all the million scandals that are constantly being revealed. Zuma is the world's fourth highest paid president, and his cabinet costs 1,6 billion South African rand annually – about 1 billion Norwegian kroner. The various welfare schemes have increased from around 4 million rand in 1994 to 16,3 million in 2014. More and more people are arguing that this is not sustainable, including President Zuma. Excluding child benefit, which is received by 11,5 million, there are less than three million social security recipients in South Africa, of which 1,1 million are pensioners. This is in stark contrast to the upgrade of the president's residence Nklandas, which in 2010 was stipulated to cost 145 million rand, but ended up with a price tag of 100 million more. Rioting is aimed at immigrants, but it is reasonable to assume that the general economic situation is the real triggering factor. Criminologist Johan Burger from the renowned think tank Institute for Security Studies, which is used by the EU and the Norwegian UDI, among other things, also believes that the spread of the unrest can testify that it is not just spontaneous. "Persistent attacks that spread to more urban areas create a suspicion that this is organized," says Burger.

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