The group recently revealed that xenophobia is still everywhere in SA despite a government action plan rolled out in May 2019 to tackle “intolerance.”
According to HRW, law enforcement officials have been very guilty of working in discriminatory and abusive ways towards non-nationals.
Kristi Ueda added that the culture of impunity that only emboldens others and perpetuates violence against non-nationals has to be stopped once and for all.
His words, “Non-South African nationals have suffered wave after wave of xenophobic violence and live in constant fear of being targeted,”
“Government should hold those responsible accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
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Xenophobia is the fear or hatred of that which is perceived to be foreign or strange. It is an expression of perceived conflict between an ingroup and an outgroup and may manifest in suspicion by the one of the other’s activities, a desire to eliminate their presence, and fear of losing national, ethnic or racial identity.
An early example of xenophobic sentiment in Western culture is the Ancient Greek denigration of foreigners as “barbarians”, the belief that the Greek people and culture were superior to all others, and the subsequent conclusion that barbarians were naturally meant to be enslaved.
Ancient Romans also held notions of superiority over all other peoples, such as in a speech attributed to Manius Acilius, “There, as you know, there were Macedonians and Thracians and Illyrians, all most warlike nations, here Syrians and Asiatic Greeks, the most worthless peoples among mankind and born for slavery.”
Xenophobia in South Africa has been present in both the apartheid and post–apartheid eras. Hostility between the British and Boers exacerbated by the Second Boer War led to rebellion by poor Afrikaners who looted British-owned shops.
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