Vicious Attacks on Foreign Nationals in South Africa: An Entrenched Culture of Impunity

Raligilia Happy Konanani, Kola O. Odeku


The recent occurrence of violent attacks by the law enforcement agents and the South African citizens on foreign nationals living in South Africa has attracted international attention and projects the country as hostile to foreigners. Even though the Government has come out openly to condemn these dastardly acts, it is contended that the condemnation has not been backed up with any serious action to bring the culprits to book in order to serve as deterrent to would-be perpetrators. This article argues that the perpetrators continue to violently attack and murder foreign nationals in South Africa because in previous cases nothing was done to bring the culprits to book. The action of the Government, to say the least, is tantamount to promoting culture of impunity. While the article highlights various remedies available to the victims, the situation is that conviction in such cases are rare in view of the 2008 xenophobic attacks in South Africa which up till today, a single conviction is yet to be recorded thereby consolidating an entrenched culture of impunity. The article concludes that unless government talks are backed with action by ensuring that perpetrators are brought to book, there is every likelihood for reoccurrence. The article highlights remedies available to the victims and how to seek redress at the appropriate institutions.

DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2013.v4n13p801

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Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences ISSN 2039-9340(Print) ISSN 2039-2117(Online)

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