A culture war is brewing between South Africa and its continental neighbours following a spate of xenophobic attacks over the weekend in Gauteng. It seems the fallout is having far-reaching consequences, as Zambia became the latest African country to take a stand against SA business.
Foreign store owners in Mzansi had their businesses raided by gatvol locals who are blaming immigrants for a number of societal ills, and five people have died as a result of the violence last weekend.
Although the majority of the deceased were South Africans, that hasn’t stopped a fierce international condemnation coming our way. Nigeria have lead the charge, as several Shoprite stores (South African-owned) were looted, damaged or raided in retaliation to the xenophobia seen in GP.
Several MTN offices have also been subject to wanton vandalism and destruction across Nigeria. The company have made the unusual decision to close all of their stores across the country, in a bid to prevent further protests flaring-up and putting their staff at risk. There have been multiple reports of fires at some locations:
But arguably, we haven’t seen the most bizarre retaliation yet. It’s back to Zambia for this one. Popular radio station Hot FM are now refusing to play any South African music whatsoever. This comes just hours after the Zambian Football Association pulled out of a friendly with Bafana Bafana, in protest of xenophobia.
In light of the xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa, Hot Fm will cease to play music by South African artists on our airwaves until further notice.
All African nations, whether Frontline states& https://t.co/DTk8dZiiKNHotFMZambia (@HOT877Zambia) September 4, 2019
There has been a wave of controversy over the past few days, but celebrity reactions to the crisis have helped fan the flames of discontent. Nigerian artists Burna Boy and Tiwa Savage have announced they will refuse to perform in South Africa, falsely claiming that citizens from their country were killed in the protests.
Meanwhile, a spate of “fake news” has also hampered any potential chances of reconciliation. Irresponsible social media users have used out-of-date videos and shared false information online, claiming that immigrants and locals are burning each other alive and raiding schools. Here’s what you need to avoid.