As early as January, Medialternatives warned of impending Xenophobic attacks which have shocked South Africans and the rest of the world.
Two events, seemingly unrelated have culminated in these attacks.
The first are the comments made by Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini, and discussed at length in the media.
The second is the state visit to South Africa of Robert Mugabe.
As to why Mugabe’s visit would contribute to xenophobic attacks, Zimbabweans are the largest group of immigrants in the country. Some 1 million Zimbabweans have entered South Africa after fleeing the policies of Robert Mugabe. The attacks of the past weeks have resulted in some 2000 Zimbabweans fleeing back home. The visit appears to have signalled the ascendency of the ageing gerontocrat’s policies in the region with the unintended consequences of a xenophobic backlash.