Press release

Attacks on Foreign Nationals Unsettle South Africa


In response to the latest violent attacks in South Africa against foreign nationals, this time in the eThekwini metro area, Freedom House issued the following statement: 

“The attacks in KwaZulu-Natal province are the latest in a long line of incidents occurring throughout the country,” said Paul Graham, project director for Southern Africa. “South Africans should recognize that xenophobia is driving recurring violence and discrimination and has grown into a national crisis. The country’s leaders should unequivocally condemn these attacks and convene a nationwide dialogue for addressing these recurring human rights abuses against foreign nationals.”

As a result of attacks on foreign nationals starting last week in Isipingo, a suburb of the eThekwini Metro area, over 250 people have sought temporary shelter after their homes and shops were looted.  On April 8, an anti-xenophobia march in downtown Durban was disrupted, and other attacks occurred in the Umlazi, Reservoir Hills, and Chatsworth areas. Similar violence took place against foreign nationals earlier this year in Soweto and Phillipi, areas of the Gauteng and Western Cape provinces, respectively. 

South Africa is rated Free in Freedom in the World 2015, Partly Free in Freedom of the Press 2014, and Free in Freedom on the Net 2014.