Conflict & Justice

Roots of South Africa violence

On the street, men are on the war path and have been burning their victims to death. clashes like this are a grim reminder of the violence during the days of apartheid and there's no way to mistake the anger on the streets. People feel as if the immigrants are taking things from the local people. For the South African government, the events have come as a surprise but analysts believe the problems have been simmering for years. What sparked the attacks? This analyst says the immediate trigger was a group of taxi drivers meeting in Alexandria because foreign nationals had started their own businesses and they started attacking foreign nationals and their homes and that trigger opened the floodgates of deep resentments of poor people who have been excluded from the benefits of South African democracy. And the response of the authorities according to this analyst was less than responsive. The government now has sent the army onto the streets but it's still skeptical about the size of the problems. The ANC has condemned the violence but has also accused political motivations and criminals using the violence for their own benefits. Some attackers have sang Jacob Zuma's song; Zuma is the new head of the ANC. Some of the foreigners say Zuma's people were at the forefront of the attacks. But this analyst says the deep political alienation is at the forefront of motivations and ordinary people have few avenues for their frustrations. So what is needed now? the present crisis should be contained with the mobilization of the army. But according to this analyst the long term issues remain to be addressed.

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