The Centre for Civil Society based within the School of Built Environment and Development Studies invites you to the seminar Rhodes’ Walls Must Fall! by Gcina Makoba, Bandile Mdlalose and China Ngubane.
Date: Thursday, 30 April 2015
Time: 12h30 – 14h00
Venue: CCS Seminar Room 602, 6th Floor, MTB Tower, Howard College, University of KwaZulu-Natal
The next stage of xenophobia is apparently a shift from crude, violent attacks to subtle, state pressure: the President, Department of Home Affairs, police and even the army are making the distinction between legal, well-skilled refugees who are useful, and “illegal” immigrants who must be “rooted out.” The vulnerability of refugees in this xenophobia maelstrom is a perfect opportunity, even if there is further risk to the South African “brand” as a result. Yet simultaneously, across the African continent, there has been an extraordinary upsurge of protest against the heavy-handed South African state and leading businesses, in capital city after capital city. The agenda of ordinary people is that the 1885 Berlin Conference “Scramble for Africa” borders are illogical and reactionary. These are Rhodes’ walls – he wasn’t in Berlin but British imperialism used the occasion to carve Africa to his future needs. If Rhodes’ statue fell, should Rhodes’ borders also be challenged? Capital flows freely but people don’t. The latest round of xenophobia began in Durban a month ago, on March 30, and this is the right place to ask whether Durban activists can make the links to those who are aggrieved across our region.
Makoba, Mdlalose and Ngubane are CCS Dennis Brutus Scholars active in the fight against xenophobia locally and regionally.