South Africa: Fuelling of Xenophobia Flames Has Long-Lasting Impacts

One person died and 5 others were injured in fresh unrest in the Johannesburg CBD on September 8, 2019.
opinion

As angry protesters attacked a number of South African businesses in Lagos and elsewhere in the country during the week forcing them to shut down, one muted question was, whose businesses were really under attack?

Who Killed Xenophobia?

As soon as reprisal attacks on South Africa's businesses began in Lagos and other major cities in Nigeria on Tuesday, the social media space matched the streets for action, with some jokes portraying the sheer misguided fury of the violence. One widely circulated joke caught an onlooker asking one of the protesters why they were attacking Shoprite. The protester replied: "I have just been informed that my brother, xenophobia was killed in South Africa. I'm here to take my revenge!"

Whose Business, Really?

As angry protesters attacked a number of South African businesses in Lagos and elsewhere in the country during the week forcing them to shut down, one muted question was, whose businesses were really under attack? Of course, the main targets were MTN, Shoprite and Standard Chartered (which closed its branches as a precautionary measure). Rotimi Sankore, a Nigerian journalist who was appalled by the violence told Sahara reporters: "Shoprite and Spar are mostly franchises. Most of the goods on...

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