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Vol 49 No 12

Published 6th June 2008

South Africa

Apartheid's awful legacy

The murders of immigrants have their roots in poverty, xenophobia and the failure of political leadership

Violent rampages in townships and informal settlements have changed South Africa and the way the world sees it. Mobs have forced tens of thousands of migrants from other African countries into hiding or protected camps, killed 56 people, and looted goods worth millions of dollars. White people rarely encounter hostility but African migrants have for some years known and worried about just how unpopular they are. Africa and the world as a whole knew little about it. Many South Africans are doing fine humanitarian work for displaced migrants but the recent violence has broken the spell of the acclaimed 'Rainbow Nation'.

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