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South Africa is Currently Embroiled in Violent Xenophobic Attacks

Foreign nationals living in Johannesburg are being attacked and their businesses looted.

The center of Johannesburg is currently a surreal sight. Cars have been torched, businesses broken into and ransacked, foreign nationals are being violently attacked and police are admittedly struggling to maintain order. Just a week after xenophobic attacks erupted in Pretoria and two months after Nigerians were being attacked in Hillbrow, the country is experiencing yet another spate of xenophobic attacks which began yesterday. According to EWN, two people have been confirmed dead, including a woman who was shot at close range. A hundred others have been arrested thus far.


The reasons for the xenophobic attacks echo the pervasive anti-immigrant sentiment around the world. In a country with growing inequality, unemployment and poverty, many disenfranchised South Africans feel that foreign nationals are responsible for the lack of job opportunities and increasing crime.

Read: Sho Madjozi Accuses Organizers of 'Africans Unite' of Using Xenophobia as a 'Marketing Ploy'

President Cyril Ramaphosa has not yet addressed South Africans in light of these recent attacks—a move many have criticized. However, Secretary-General of the ruling African National Congress (ANC), Ace Magashule, has said that, "We are appealing for peace and calm in South Africa and I hope our people will listen to the voice of reason." He added that, "The issue of the mayhem we see, I feel we just want to say to the media, this is also the time for the media to act responsibly."

The Right2Know Campaign has blamed the likes of Herman Mashaba of the Democratic Alliance (DA), Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini and Ramaphosa for spouting xenophobic rhetoric for political gain. In a statement, the organization said:

"We recognize that there are many sources of the violence but it is also clear that statements of outrage and condemnation by state officials at all levels (Cabinet, Parliament, the Gauteng Province, SAPS and Metros) fueled the actions of ordinary citizens who interpreted those statements to be licence to take the law into their own hands. Senior political leaders find an easy target in the vulnerable Africans seeking to make a new home in South Africa."

However, Mashaba has denied that his previous comments on foreign nationals living in the country, incited the violence towards them.

Zambia recently issued a warning to its citizens currently residing in South Africa, urging them to be cautious amid the xenophobic attacks, IOL reports. The Nigerian government expressed that they would be taking "defensive measures" to protect their citizens if the South African government failed to get a handle on the current situation. Nigerians residing in South Africa have also threatened to have the terrorist group, Boko Haram, to attack the country.

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Sho Madjozi Accuses Organizers of 'Africans Unite' of Using Xenophobia as a 'Marketing Ploy'

The South African rapper has spoken out about why she declined to perform at the now cancelled concert.

Yesterday, the much-anticipated "Africans Unite" concert was cancelled after Burna Boy pulled out of his scheduled performances in South Africa. This comes after South African artists spoke out against Burna Boy performing following his heated Twitter exchange with rapper AKA. While some were disappointed, others felt the exact opposite. Sho Madjozi, who has weighed in on the debate before during the September xenophobic attacks, has once again spoken out. This time, the "John Cena" star has called out against the organizers of the concert, Phambili Media and Play Network Africa.

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South Africa has Apologized to Nigeria for the Recent Xenophobic Violence

A special envoy was sent to Nigeria to express the first of President Cyril Ramaphosa's 'sincere apologies'.

Yesterday, South African President Cyril Ramaphosa sent a special envoy to Abuja, Nigeria, to meet with Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari according to the eNCA. The envoy was tasked with expressing President Ramaphosa's "sincere apologies" for the recent spate of xenophobic attacks targeting foreign African nationals in South Africa. Of the twelve people who were killed during the week of the xenophobic attacks, two of them were Zimbabwean and the rest South African. However, hundreds more were affected by the violence, with the Nigerian government having opted to voluntary evacuate at least 600 Nigerians who wanted to return home.

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Blitz the Ambassador Named 2020 Guggenheim Fellow

The Ghanaian artist and filmmaker is among 175 "individuals who have demonstrated exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts."

Ghanaian filmmaker Blitz Bazawule, also known as Blitz the Ambassador has been named a 2020 Guggenheim fellow.

The musician, artist and director behind he critically acclaimed film The Burial of Kojo, announced the news via social media on Thursday, writing: "Super excited to announce I've been awarded the Guggenheim 2020 Fellowship. Truly grateful and inspired."

He is among 175 scholars, "appointed on the basis of prior achievement and exceptional promise, the successful candidates were chosen from a group of almost 3,000 applicants in the Foundation's ninety-sixth competition," says the Guggenheim.

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Photo by Sabelo Mkhabela.

6 South African Podcasts to Listen to During the Lockdown

Here are six South African podcasts worth listening to.

South Africa has been on lockdown for almost two weeks as a measure to curb the spread of the COVID-19 virus, and it looks like the period might just get extended. If you are one of those whose work can't be done from home, then you must have a lot of time in your hands. Below, we recommend six South African podcasts you can occupy yourself with and get empowered, entertained and informed.


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