This week both the UK Guardian (Video) and SA Mail & Guardian reported on claims of threats of xenophobic violence – directed at mostly African foreigners – that would supposedly start when the Football World Cup finishes.
Tara Polzer, a researcher in Wits University’s forced-migration studies programme, said that she has seen little evidence of centralised planning of post-World Cup violence but “the idea is spreading on a local level; it’s being discussed and legitimised by being repeated over and over again”.
There are even allegations that South Africans that don’t take part will also be targeted.
these threats have also been extended to South Africans who are sympathetic to refugees.
She said a Sotho friend who runs a stall at the Yeoville market was told: “We’re preparing the paraffin and matches. We’re coming to burn you too because when we have our meetings, you’re not coming.”
Today Jacob Dlamini wrote in Business Day:
A BANGLADESHI trader who runs a spaza shop on our street was recently visited by a young man. The man told the trader that, come July 12, he and other foreign traders in Katlehong must leave the township. The trader did not know the man and was certain the man was not one of his regular customers.
On Tuesday, I overheard three local women teasing/taunting a Mozambican man. “Make sure you are packed and ready to go by July 12,” they said. “But you know some of your sisters will starve if I am expelled from here,” he answered. “We don’t care,” said the women.
And he ads…
Naturally, rumours do not stop being important simply because they are rumours. People have been known to kill on the basis of rumours. They have been known to start wars on the basis of rumours. The rumours about July 12 are telling in at least one respect. They reveal that while the country gets ready to party, many ordinary South Africans are already looking beyond the party. It is just a pity that they are looking to the future with such venom and bitterness.