May 2008 Violence Against Foreign Nationals in South Africa


From 11th to 26th May 2008, foreign nationals were attacked in at least 135 locations in various parts of South Africa (Bekker, at al, 2009). This led to at least 62 deaths, over a hundred thousand people displaced, and millions of Rands of damage and loss of property. The May 2008 violence stimulated a wide range of speculative explanations and recommendations from analysts and policy makers, and was followed, perhaps not surprisingly, by a multitude of interventions and responses. The Forced Migration Studies Programme at the University of the Witwatersrand started conducting empirical research in relation to the violence almost immediately, and has sought to illuminate different aspects of the violence – from identifying underlying causes and triggers to evaluating protection, humanitarian and justice interventions and responses during and after the crisis. This report brings together the outcomes of these various research endeavours to provide a comprehensive, easily accessible reference point about what has come to be called South Africa’s ‘xenophobic attacks.

Read here: May 2008 Violence Against Foreign Nationals in South Africa

Authors: Jean Pierre Misago, Tamlyn Monson, Tara Polzer, Loren B. Landau

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