With no national force with the vision and power to offer an emancipatory alternative to politics that turns neighbors against each other, the country is on a knife edge.
by Richard Pithouse
Members and supporters of a coalition of organizations under the banner of Kopanang Africa march against xenophobia in Johannesburg in March 2022. Photo: Gopolang Ledwaba
Xenophobia is a global crisis, but in South Africa, it takes a particularly violent form. The day-to-day accumulation of insult and harassment from within the state and society periodically mutates into open-street violence in which people are beaten, hacked and burned to death. If there is a useful point of global comparison, it may be with the communal riots that rip Indian cities apart from time to time.