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February 25, 2009
Immigrants in South Africa deal with hostility, xenophobia

Last year, waves of attacks on immigrants swept through South Africa. Now those same immigrants are caught between violence in a country that wants them to leave, and the danger of returning to home countries that don’t want them back.

Worldfocus special correspondent Martin Seemungal explores the ongoing problems faced by South Africa’s immigrants.

Listen to an extended interview with Dr. Xolela Mangcu of the Platform for Public Deliberation. He discusses the widening class divisions in the country. Some footage in the below video is courtesy of Filmmakers Against Racism.




What a sad sight to see what has become of the now free people of South Africa. Demons of oppression seem to haunt South Africans, free on the outside but oppressed from within. It goes to show peace is from within not from the without. You might get the man out of the cage but you can’t get the cage out of the man. Bondage…….


Aheart of compassion is a big heart. People are starving and trying to survive but only want a piece not the whole. We should all strive to help each other. Working against each other causes greater harm to the whole. Forgivness is huge and will help us all create a better world. Would be nice if we could all go where ever we wanted to eat and live and love and laugh without causing harm. There are many of us that believe that is possible. I do know the problems are not easy but love of another human beings right to exist and basic needs met. What if it was you? I know that maybe Im not looking at the big problem that people fear but fear sometimes causes bigger problems.


It’s a terrible thing that happened here to SA, peopoe must stop putting the blame on other and take charge for they own prospety.


[…] Many blame immigrants for taking jobs that might lead to a better life. For more, watch the Worldfocus signature story “Immigrants in South Africa deal with hostility, xenophobia.” […]


Xenophobia can lead to different policiy decisions as well- here is an interesting article on its economic effects:


i ma a former streetkid,living in CApe Town.i originally come from Zimbabwe,i wish people would treat all foreigners as they treat me.Just because of our project everyone wants to be with me but forgetting that they injured and killed my brothers.All this hurts and is so painful it will take time to forgive.


[…] recession-inspired racism, xenophobia and hatred. Experts are saying that most continents – Europe, Africa, Asia – are seeing exponential growth in hate crimes, ethnic tensions and other manifestations of […]


This is a bad thing that as happened to our brothers in south africa, well,


[…] widen in racially free South AfricaFighting the stigma and treating HIV across South AfricaImmigrants in South Africa deal with hostility, xenophobiaPoor white South Africans blame reverse discriminationAIDS ravages 1,000 people per day in South […]


I was looking into the eyes of the South African woman (in the interview) who complained that “they” were taking “our” jobs. I feel that she does not understand that she and the worker from a neighboring country are both floating in the same boat and in the same river. The geo-sentiments that she feels about her country or local community makes her forget that we are all citizens of this existential world and if we leave our compassion on the riverbank and try to cross the river alone – we all perish in some way.

The socio-economic problems of South Africa are linked to our own – that is a bigger story. For example, South Florida does not want a boat of Haitian refugees to land on South Beach – even as the Floridians ponder what is happened to property values and 401-Ks

No doubt, the educated and the un-educated suffer from the same disease of misguided sentiments. The case is South Africa is very poignant and dramatic. It reminds us of the dangers of tribalism, communalism and every other “ism” that fall short of universally inspired compassion for every life and the realization of everyone’s importance on this little boat ride called life.

Our poverty and the poverty of others are linked by a little word called “injustice”. That is the enemy to be attacked, not our neighbor from another tribe.


FYI, the corresponding podcast cannot be downloaded due to restricted access to the video file (error 403 for Please remedy this small glitch at your earliest convenience. Thx. AnnA


I was shocked to see what is going on in South Africa.In America there is the illigal immergrant from Mexico.They are hired by greedy American corporations because they do work cheap.They compete for the jobs normally taken by the working poor.The Mexican government encourages their poor working class to come to America.I have never heard of any American attacking them because of it.I think that the government in South Africa kind of turn a blind eye to the illegal immergrants coming into their country much like America does.In South Africa’s case I believe that the government see’s this as a distraction for its citizen to blind them to the real problems.I wonder how many illegal immergrants came into south africa during aparthoide.No matter what the reason or cause ,with all of the problems in that country for black south africans,it seems strange to me that they would do that to other blacks or anybody else.I think that it is so,so sad.It doesn’t seem that things have gotten any better for black south africans even without the illegal immergrants.

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