Through the eyes of the hunted: Migrants’ and media perspectives on the what, why, when, where and who of xenophobia in Cape Town
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In this paper, the what, why, when, where and who (the five Ws) of xenophobia in Cape Town, South Africa is discussed. Ever since the end of apartheid, the negative sentiments towards foreigners in South Africa have been growing. In 2008, the biggest xenophobic attack yet took place, in which more than 60 people died, hundreds were injured and thousands had fled. Ever since then, the tensions between African foreign nationals and South Africans have been palpable and attacks occur on a monthly to yearly basis. Through analyses of literature, newspaper articles and interviews with African migrants, the five Ws are explored. All three sources revealed that what is happening in South African should be considered as ‘xenophobic’. The reasons vary from foreigners stealing jobs meant for locals, to the apartheid legacy, to the failure of the government to provide for its citizens and denying the existence of xenophobia. The timeline in which xenophobia is presented is mostly from 2008 onwards, however literature argued that it started after the end of apartheid. The xenophobic violence usually happens on the Eastern Cape, in cities such as Johannesburg, Durban and Pretoria and spreads from there to the townships of Cape Town, such as Khayelitsha. There is no clear consensus on who has the most power or who is to blame for xenophobia, although the government is mentioned by all three sources as a very powerful stakeholder. The interests of these stakeholders have also been explored and it has been concluded that all stakeholders are only fending for themselves, for their own survival. This clash in interest could possibly be solved by an independent third party stakeholder with selfless interests, who would take care of the basic needs of the other stakeholders. If nothing were to change, the hunted would still continue to fall prey.