Given the week SA has had, and possibly the one to come, I’ve been surprised how little really good writing has come out of it. The absolute rage among women is wholly justified. Perhaps less so the clearly xenophobic violence in Gauteng. Of course South Africans get hurt in any kind of mob violence but to the extent that this has been manipulated and organised, it is driven by an instinctive hostility to foreigners.

And, of course, if you’re hostile to foreigners you’re probably also hostile to anyone different to you. So the question of ethnicity in SA must also arise. Or just a generalised suspicion of strangers. I recently heard of a (legal) cottage owner on the Transkei Wild Coast who rethatched his rondavel using labour from outside the immediate area. Suddenly, as they were working, the bush behind the hut began to burn, a clear sign that the locals were less than pleased...

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