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What xenophobia? The word is xenocide

The issue we are facing is not xenophobia as such, but xenocide. In 99% of xenophobic incidents anywhere on this planet in the last decade (however heinous), we do not find xenophobic dispositions turning into a mobilisation and a social movement that kills foreigners. Ours does. It is the habit of my profession to explain such phenomena and in most cases rationalise and naturalise them. There will be a time for all that — what is running out is moral time: unambiguous and decisive action before the last shards of humanism left on this tip of Africa go up in smoke as well.


  • Ari Sitas

    Ari Sitas is a sociologist and writer, a senior professor at the University of KwaZulu-Natal ( or and an adjunct professor at Jawaharlal Nehru University in New Delhi and at Freiburg University, Germany. He is on the executive of the African Sociological Association (and has served as president of the South African one and a vice-president of the International Sociological Association). He received a PhD from Wits in 1984 and has taught in Durban since the end of 1982. His writings encompass areas of labour, the new economy, culture, aesthetics, social justice and violent conflict. Creatively, apart from his theatre work in the 1970s and 1980s, he has authored many volumes of poetry and prose (