To What Cost to its Continental Hegemonic Standpoint: Making Sense of South Africa’s Xenophobia Conundrum Post Democratization

Daniel Nkosinathi Mlambo, Victor H. Mlambo

Abstract


From the 1940s, a period where the National Party (NP) came into power and destabilized African and Southern Africa’s political dynamics, South Africa became a pariah state and isolated from both the African and African political realms and, to some extent, global spectrum(s). The domestic political transition period (1990-1994) from apartheid to democracy further changed Pretoria’s continental political stance. After the first-ever democratic elections in 1994, where the African National Congress (ANC) was victorious, South Africa was regarded as a regional and continental hegemon capable of re-uniting itself with continental and global politics and importantly uniting African states because of its relatively robust economy. However, the demise of apartheid brought immense opportunities for other African migrants to come and settle in South Africa for diverse reasons and bring a new enemy in xenophobia. Post-1994, xenophobia has rattled South Africa driven (albeit not entirely) by escalating domestic social ills and foreign nationals often being blamed for this. Using a qualitative methodology supplemented by secondary data, this article ponders xenophobia in post-democratization South Africa and what setbacks this has had on its hegemonic standpoint in Africa post the apartheid era.


Keywords


African National Congress; South Africa; Hegemony; Migrants; Xenophobia

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References


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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.29333/ejecs/696

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