The Common Good

After World Cup, Violence Persists in South Africa

100714-fifa-worldcupThe World Cup eclipsed our lives in South Africa as we witnessed four weeks of unbelievable soccer and celebration. Instead of basking in the glory of the tournament and reflecting on a way forward, xenophobic violence has once again reared its head. The threat of violence against foreigners has been going on prior to the World Cup, and it was a threat that violence would emerge after the World Cup.

Related Reading

Take Action on This Issue

Circle of Protection for a Moral Budget

A pledge by church leaders from diverse theological and political beliefs who have come together to form a Circle of Protection around programs that serve the most vulnerable in our nation and around the world.

Bishop Tutu appealed on national TV for violence to stop, but it has fallen on deaf ears. Shops belonging to foreigners have been looted and many are packing their belongings and leaving their homes. Zimbabweans in particular are affected either directly or indirectly. Those who continue to bear the brunt of xenophobia for now are the poor, those working on farms and living in informal settlements where they are self employed and running small businesses. Authorities have vowed to stem the tide before it gets out of hand, but many do not want a repeat of last year's violence, which took place during this time, and are packing their belongings and heading back home.

It is hard to pinpoint one single trigger; the violence is caused through a combination of frustration caused by unemployment, lack of skills, and failed government promises on housing and sanitation. All of us are affected by this violence, which is becoming a feature of life. The passing of the World Cup has brought many fears because of job losses for those employed in the building of stadiums.

There is a crisis brewing in the aftermath of a glorious celebration of football, unity, and national pride. None of us can escape. It's so hard to shift from celebration to tragedy in the space of a few days, but we must if we are to be faithful to our call to be peacemakers who stand by the poor.

Nontando HadebeNontando Hadebe, a former Sojourners intern, is originally from Zimbabwe and is now pursuing graduate studies in theology in South Africa.

Sojourners relies on the support of readers like you to sustain our message and ministry.

Related Stories


Like what you're reading? Get Sojourners E-Mail updates!

Sojourners Comment Community Covenant

I will express myself with civility, courtesy, and respect for every member of the Sojourners online community, especially toward those with whom I disagree, even if I feel disrespected by them. (Romans 12:17-21)

I will express my disagreements with other community members' ideas without insulting, mocking, or slandering them personally. (Matthew 5:22)

I will not exaggerate others' beliefs nor make unfounded prejudicial assumptions based on labels, categories, or stereotypes. I will always extend the benefit of the doubt. (Ephesians 4:29)

I will hold others accountable by clicking "report" on comments that violate these principles, based not on what ideas are expressed but on how they're expressed. (2 Thessalonians 3:13-15)

I understand that comments reported as abusive are reviewed by Sojourners staff and are subject to removal. Repeat offenders will be blocked from making further comments. (Proverbs 18:7)