Law Focus - Xenophobic Violence in South Africa

Xenophobia continues to be a contentious issue in the South African society. Foreign nationals are often blamed for the country’s high crime rate, unemployment, and overcrowding of health facilities. However, it is hard to imagine that people will just up and leave the comfort of their countries to be a problem elsewhere. Surely people are motivated by a better future and greener pastures which South Africa seems to offer. However, it should be noted that South African government is currently faces economic challenges and the added strain brought by the influx of foreigners causes more tension. Politicians and public government figures do not help the situation at all as they tend to speak against xenophobia whereas in the same breath, articulate many notions that continue to fuel it.

In this episode, the conversation revolves around issues of ethics as well as empathy; for people on both sides of the coin; foreign nationals as well as South African citizens. We begin by unpacking South African Law’s expectation of foreign nationals and the policies and requirements are reasonable with Wayne Ncube, an attorney at Lawyers for Human Rights. We then speak to Chief of Party, at Freedom House, Ms Tiseke Kasambala, about the socio-economic dynamics, which force people to leave their countries.

Presenter: Millicent Tshiamo, Producer: Simba Honde, Technical Producer: Kutlwano Gwinch Serame