Flames of hatred and xenophobia

Three days ago, I received an email from a Ugandan ex-colleague.

It contained snippets of news articles as well as several rather disturbing and terribly saddening images of the madness and mayhem that ensued after a series of violent attacks on foreigners (mostly African nationals) across South Africa.

Another two weeks of violence that have, at the time of writing, cost the lives of at least 56 people and displaced thousands of foreigners erupted after a community meeting attended by some 200 people in Alexandra, just north of Johannesburg on Sunday, the 11th of May 2008. These unemployed people, bored and facing an uncertain future, accused foreign nationals of invading their rainbow nation and taking jobs that they are supposedly entitled to. “The hate they carry in their hearts is like simmering pot [sic] — it can boil over at any moment and spread all over. That is what happened after that meeting”.

The Burning Man of Reiger Park

Something prompted me to spend the better part of the last two days “chronoblogging” the incidents in an effort to wrap my head around the insane sequence of events and write up a summarising photo essay.

Don’t ask why. There may never be a rational answer but I just had to do it.

Photo credit: Halden Krog

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