Has the rainbow nation lost its colour? – Xenophobic attacks on the rise in South Africa

Just over 20 years since the 1994 end of apartheid South Africa is suffering more and more xenophobic attacks

Just after his first month in office, Nelson Mandela used the term Rainbow Nation to speak on the new South Africa, now post-apartheid he used the phrase coined by Archbishop Desmond Tutu, to describe a nation where skin colour or religion would never again divide the nation and people would live in harmony.

Nelson Mandela born to love quote
Nelson Mandela born to love quote

Mandela the first ‘Black President’ of the Rainbow nation was a member of the ANC (African National Congress) party. The party has been in hot water in recent years with former youth congress member Julius Malema ending up on social media singing a ‘shoot the Boer’ song, aimde at the Afrikanns community in 2011.  Since the controversy Julius Malema has left the ANC and created a new political party called the EFF (Economic Freedom Fighters) who claim to be targeting jobs for native South Africans.

At the 2010 world cup there was rumours surrounding the fear of xenophobic attacks, and on completion of the world cup foreign migrants and refugees were warned to prepare for an increase in such attacks. Since there has been a spate of attacks on migrants in South Africa.


In recent weeks we have seen an increase in such attacks, which have seen at least 8 people killed and injured. There have been more than 800 people from Mozambique Deported and 400 from Malawi. The On the 16th of May 2015 there were 104 people in court on xenophobic attacks. The attacks are widely believed to be because of Zulu King Zwelithnis comments calling for the deportation of foreign nationals in South Africa as they are making locals compete for jobs and opportunities. The attacks have created division and have seen increased attacks against foreigners in other southern African countries.


Speaking to a South African living in Malawi,  on the 20th of March, he said that he was no living in fear, hoping that retaliation attacks do not happen, and that the Southern African countries need to go back to peace.


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