For the third time in seven years, violence against immigrants has broken out across South Africa. Pogroms that began in late March in Durban, in KwaZulu-Natal Province after incendiary remarks by the Zulu king (he claims authority over about 10 million people) later spread to Johannesburg. The violence is aimed mainly against African immigrants from north of South Africa’s border pursuing economic opportunity or refugees seeking the political stability of the continent’s most highly developed nation. In this op-ed, published on The New York Times international affairs faculty member Sean Jacobs (along with Yale historian Daniel Magaziner) explores the causes of this violence.
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