Africa, Pretoria, Nigeria discussed on BBC World Service
Home following a wave of anti immigrant violence in cities including Pretoria and Johannesburg. it was one of the top. the the coming back. I woke up you've got me everything gave one kind I just have to run it with all my life. I haven't been able to get out of my house and I will say experience verbal brand of a lot of staff and stocking up on specific African nationals and I thought to myself into the same African nationals will help changing up last night I think it's a shame. in the African continent was it on the situation of blacks given blacks well the spot for the violence is disputed but it's been widely reported that began after Laurie drive is staged a strike to protest against the employment of foreigners you know twelve people have been killed including two foreign nationals in these latest attacks see about got motor is a journalist and presenter of voice of visits FM that's in Johannesburg two weeks ago the looting started to not so far from way I state which is like two on his back into town they said that their toileting sucked up by foreign nationals but it is this is many shops every chopped was actually destroyed and looted even folks that are owned by south Africans including to import to stores finishes holds the supermarkets like a lots of property was destroyed that we own I saw that the kids and as well as for admission also it was I wouldn't say it was targeted some people but it was just a routine that really affected everyone have you heard the shouts chance from people implying that there is an anti foreigner element to this is in talks when and last Sunday when prince Michael subjected easy we came to check this town to address the community it was clear that there was a with dancing and obviously taunting around saying that they told one for initials in South Africa and oversee the seats they giving the government twenty four hours which now I think it's about seventy two hours the government agency do anything about it but yeah so what does that what density taunting and there were walking around the streets off off to this town in protesting against a foreign nationals is it clear how organized that kind of behavior is I mean all the people in charge is it okay straight what's happening the cost of doing that is being led to by all the music doing this with me like that he does that he does what being pointed to to to lead to a couple people from certain villages I live in hospitals. but now effect it's everyone C. bunga motor well these attacks are not new but unlike in previous years the reaction from the rest of the continent from Ethiopia to Zambia to Nigeria has been much stronger this time office of canceled events radio stations of stopped playing south African music and south African businesses have been attacked in retaliation elsewhere the violence is raised a number of questions about the status of the south African economy about attitudes within South Africa to people living and working there who come from other African countries about xenophobia and about fake news because some of the video shared online about current events have turned out to be old or even not from South Africa a tool so what's behind the attacks all the purely economic or are they a reflection of a great intolerance in society how dependent is the south African economy on foreign workers and what impact will the negative reaction on the continent have and does the government have a plan to bring an end to these attacks for good my guess throughout our professor Lauren Landau's senior researcher at the African center for migration and society dumbfounded Mahaffey executive director of the center for the study of violence and reconciliation for Ashley P. lay south African journalist and editor all three of those are in Johannesburg here in London is Jason Robinson senior African analyst at the research organization Oxford analytica a little bit later on in the program we'll be joined by the national spokesman for the governing a and C. in South Africa Dakota liquidity. a fairly straightforward first question is this just a case of xenophobia or is it more complicated than that for rational appeal a what's your take on it. so there's been a lot of contestants about the idea that this is surely just as enough attacks I noticed a full file government to professor label that criminality quite disingenuous the after they themselves hold responsible for stoking much of the tensions previously but from the numbers that are coming out we understand that twelve people were killed and ten of those of African so it's getting harder and harder to the stand with this is just an awful big violence simply put away that is something far more nuanced and that we need to unpack going on here laurel and though what's your take on it but clearly there is xenophobia is is part of the story here and as you heard people are angry and produced and that anger is being directed at least discursive Lee act at foreign nationals but I think we eat while it's easy to think about this is the kind of rise of global center for with that we've seen in the UK or the United States or Europe this is something that's very much rooted in local governance is rooted in who is it that controls these areas whether it's in tune is this the sort of leaders that you heard about or community associations and it's the way they are mobilizing violence to eliminate competition to get resources to express anger and I think he is this is really is worse in some ways and just at the immigrant rhetoric numb from the Mojave first thought from you on on what lies behind us yeah when this happens what we say is this we are from just having gone in and really understood today eruptions when that happened is that is not a matter of a that will lead we've inherited a society that has deeply entrenched in tolerance and xenophobia is one of them so it's really important to or seven one's understanding of this psychological accu tech settle for society and why we have some of the issues that we have in Jason Robinson the first thought from you on on what might lie behind this I think just to echo some of the previous points there's a whole mix of issues I think low level symphonic phones is happening all the time and the police don't categorize and murders of foreign nationals as a separate kind. re so there's a bit of a a morning of the water is in terms of how many are actually kill than if it probably works to the authorities favor that we don't know you know that it's not out in the public discourse so I think that there's a whole host of issues I think to echo some the previous point you know we have official unemployment at around twenty nine percent the expanded definition is up near forty percent youth unemployment is over fifty percent and I think cam one issue which we might touch on is the disjoint between the official government rhetoric about attracting skilled immigrants and said after being open for business and then the political posturing the populism that's not only within the ANC would also other political parties so Herman moshava the mayor of Johannesburg he gets a lot of the blame for some of the pockets of fines we seen not as most recently but previous before that some hardline comments about illegal immigrants as criminals at the D. A. the main opposition for the twenty nineteen election campaign how to secure our borders as slogan as one of their chief concerns and the ANC of also played thought as well and even the health then health minister last year said that it was migrants who restraining the health system didn't prove didn't bring any facts to bear on the issue but it plays to kind of have prejudices that are there already there's a lot in your first four ounces all of you I think they fall under the heading of more nuanced and more complicated and certainly a lack of days or in some areas as well that might add to the the focus of for this and being certain of exactly what's happening and and who the main victims all will come back to some of those points in a moment I want to bring you this voice Stanley but who's a Nigerian pasta he's been living in South Africa for seven years how does he explain the reasons for Nigerians deciding to leave South Africa for good name Jerry and have lost hope on the side of a Tory T. in addressing these issues because there's a lot of false time is kind of our time. he's from happening in the Republic they raise a lamb so in some locations you know on these kind of attacks and over and over again little or nothing has been done by the twenty two to really address this issue once and for all why do you think this is happening now I'll say this is up and down due to pressure looking at the economy of the country the economy is not doing well right now at the moment so the citizens are. click on sign about a state of the nation and the one girl Tory T. to do something origins strictly tried to raise the issues and this is not happening very fast and this house three god anger and aggression and which has left you. these current attacks we now weakness he seems I see we are the major targets so it is better to go home to be safe this is not the first time we have in this issue Stanley Hoover and a jury imposter he's been living in South Africa for seven years the appeal of South Africa Jason Robinson to those from outside the country when you look back in recent times and you look at the numbers who have moved there from other parts of Africa what's been the reason is it purely economic or is there more to it than that I think that's I major focus of its basically set off because the economic hope of the continents and when it's doing well if it lifts up the rest and I think one of the interesting things is even though we had the debilitating to that's a nice finance we also the twenty fifteen violence people are still going to set Africa it's still quite an attractive place to go in terms of opportunities around the major urban centers bush with fast comes those pressures that we've touched on you know Nigeria has been the most vocal and and we've had the repatriation in the past days but arguably countries in the southern African development community neighboring countries have been affected so just as much if not more and I reacted quite strong yes yeah and I suppose the Nigerian elements has a few layers to it there's the human and on social almond which is protecting its citizens which is completely legitimate and then there is perhaps some of the the power play you know the farm policy element to it as well I want to get on to that a little bit later on in the program for Russian you heard of pasta and he was talking about the number of Nigerians leaving and why they're doing it to was talking about them being targeted I mean is it clear whether Nigerians all being targeted here or not from what I've seen it's not entirely clear but I'm sure my co panelists will have more information but I think the lack of data and it's very hard to really understand what is happening with all this data and also the power play is very important we know that there is a history of diplomatic tension between our government and. Nigeria's government and it's a lot of fixing so to speak of various muscle that various times so I think there's a lot of thought to be taken into consideration but in my anecdotal lived experience hands of Africa it seems that the violence is pretty indiscriminate in terms of the phone is that it is attacking and even the bobbins who are probably the the best to kind of blending in from up north I mean obviously people from the surgeons widely and publicly and in the best but up people from longs involved with specially from they develop tribe they do tend to learn the set after languages pretty quickly that they tend to look similar but even they are being targeted so it's hard to say that on June specifically are being targeted can I bring them from doing an organ on that point specifically don't for this lack of data is not because it simply isn't there it's difficult to work out what's happening or is that was there something else going on I mean we have been saying that even today we've just had our crimes does been released and missing that it really difficult for us to be able to have that analysis all of which particular groups are actually involved so that we can be able to check of this or not but it in for me the biggest issue is the fact that to the people that tends to be generally affect Ted is mainly the foreign nationals of African origin so there's a very strong police component to this almost like this internalized racism and they hate to offer the other that two looks like me which has very strong psychological components to it and I also wanted to just touch briefly on was the reasons why people come here because at the center for the study of violence and reconciliation with quite a trauma clinic will be with directly with the refugees and migrants and when people talk usually differentiates try to differentiate between the force migrant as a result of conflict and as a result tall of economic issues but we are finding increasingly with the clients that come to us that is a really difficult to differentiate to those issues and most of these migrants don't come here because they wanted to they will tell you that I don't want to. his difficulties of Africa but back at home is tough I was just in Zimbabwe four days ago it is terrible people come here because they're desperate and I think I challenges yes we are is that organizations like you initial C. R. the would invest in funding refugees but there's not sufficient to work done with the host country so sort of again I'm not prepared to see how do you walk in integrating these the non nationals will come here what are the reasons for them to come yeah so the work.