What is it about?

Hundreds of violent incidents of anti-immigrant hate crimes have been recorded in South Africa over the past two decades. Understanding how the public views this issue helps us better understand how it can be resolved. This study provides insight into this important project. The results show that most blamed the victims (i.e., foreigners) for the conflict. What people believe about the causes of the conflict was found to influence their desire for conflict resolution.

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Why is it important?

Victim blaming was found to predict the adoption of prejudicial solutions to anti-immigrant hate crime. Prejudicial solutions include the mass expulsion of foreign nationals. If an individual blamed the violence on the perpetrators, they were more likely to favour progressive solutions to xenophobia. Progressive solutions include education and awareness campaigns.


Xenophobia in South Africa is a serious problem in South Africa and we are need to focus on solutions. This study outlines attitudes towards xenophobic hate crime which can be utilized by relevant stakeholders. Interested parties can use the data to create effective and practical anti-xenophobia campaigns for the South African context.

Dr Steven Lawrence Gordon
Human Sciences Research Council

Read the Original

This page is a summary of: Understanding xenophobic hate crime in South Africa, Journal of Public Affairs, January 2020, Wiley,
DOI: 10.1002/pa.2076.
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