Zimbabweans Face New Violence - in South Africa
This week has been marred by xenophobic violence in
Currently many foreigners are being sheltered at police camps and the Red Cross is providing food and blankets. The timing could not have been worse because it parallels the ongoing post-election violence in
An issue that is being raised is whether there is a "third force" behind the violence or whether the violence is an unintended coincidence -- i.e., it would have happened anyway and is unrelated to the political situation in
Despite the condemnation of the violence by politicians, the situation is deteriorating and the violence against foreigners is spreading to other areas. It is an experience of double trauma for many Zimbabweans.
I am struggling to come to terms with the violence around me and to respond to the issues that are being raised. However, I believe there is a prophetic Christian response informed by justice and compassion that can address the concerns of both foreigners and South Africans in the spirit of common humanity. Pray for us that as Christians we would find this prophetic response and be part of the healing and restoration of common humanity.
Nontando Hadebe, a former Sojourners intern, is originally from Zimbabwe and is now pursuing graduate studies in theology in South Africa.