Towards Tolerance, Law and Dignity: Addressing Violence against Foreign Nationals in South Africa
Although violence against foreign nationals and other ‘outsiders’ has been a longstanding feature of post-Apartheid South Africa, the intensity and scale of the May 2008 attacks were extraordinary. What started off as an isolated incidence of antiforeigner violence in Alexandra on 11 May, quickly spread to other townships and informal settlements across the country. After two weeks and the deployment of the Army, the violence subsided. In its wake, 62 people, including 21 South Africans, were dead; at least 670 wounded; dozens of women raped; and at least 100 000 persons displaced and property worth of millions of Rand looted, destroyed or seized by local residents and leaders.