Xenophobic Violence in South Africa: Denialism, Minimalism, Realism

"Violent xenophobia has become a regular feature of South African life. Everyday animosity frequently spills over into violence against individual migrants and refugees and their economic enterprises. Some of these incidents reach the scrutiny of the media and officialdom, but most remain invisible and unremarked. The fact that most of the violence occurs in marginal urban locations of informal settlements, townships and inner-city suburbs in South Africa has prompted intense debate over the nomenclature and identification of the underlying causes. Explanations for the large-scale anti-migrant violence that swept the country in May 2008, and continues in more isolated and sporadic fashion through to the present day, fall into three general categories: “xenophobia denialism”, “xenophobia minimalism” and “xenophobia realism.”"