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Citation Information

Type Journal Article - The Expository Times
Title African democracy and political exploitation: An appraisal of Xenophobia and the removal of the Rhodes statue in South Africa
Volume 127
Issue 11
Publication (Day/Month/Year) 2016
Page numbers 534-545
URL http://dx.doi.org/10.1177/0014524616630702
In recent years, there have been numerous tragic incidents resulting from the special vulnerability of migrants in Africa and Europe. In South Africa, threats against foreign nationals have been precipitated by the myth that their presence contributes to high unemployment levels in the country. This development has led many observers to turn their attention to the state of democracy in Africa. The present article examines the underlying causes of both the recent xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals and the removal of the Rhodes statue at the University of Cape Town. First, the felling of the Rhodes statue is analysed. Thereafter, the problem of xenophobic attacks by black South Africans on foreign nationals in townships is examined. The article argues that xenophobia and the removal of the Rhodes statue are both forms of protest against political oppression and economic exploitation in South Africa. Lastly, the article proposes an African-Christian model of political praxis that re-affirms the Christian mandate to make positive contributions to the creation of a life-giving democracy in South Africa.

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Copyright DataFirst, University of Cape Town