William Saunderson-Meyer
2 minute read
14 Sep 2019
9:07 am

Jaundiced Eye: Don’t use the dirty x-word

William Saunderson-Meyer

Last week Magashule had expressed regret that the violence was being directed at ‘people who have the same skin colour as us’, rather than those ‘many others with a whitish colour’.

Plainclothes members of the South African Police Service patrol the Johannesburg township of Alexandra on September 3, 2019 after South Africa's financial capital was hit by a new wave of anti-foreigner violence. - The township was scene to a second night of urban rioting in Johannesburg, where hundreds of people marched through the streets on September 2 in an unusually large expression of anti-foreigner sentiment. Such violence breaks out sporadically in South Africa where many nationals blame immigrants for high unemployment, particularly in manual labour. (Photo by Michele Spatari / AFP)

We are steadfast, we South Africans. We’re not going to the dogs, we insist, even as the hounds of hell hump our legs and piss on our shoes. We are not xenophobic, we aver.  Such confidence, even as mobs brandishing knobkieries and pangas and bay, “Mugabe is dead, go back to Zimbabwe.”  The facts don’t matter. Nobody asks the 600 Nigerians flown home why they are shunning our hospitality. Nobody asks the families of 213 truckers killed in anti-foreign firebombings last year whether they think us xenophobic.  Xenophobia, the x-word, has joined the k-word as unutterable in SA.  In 2008,...