This paper interrogates the previously high levels of violence that are currently directed at foreigners, particularly African foreigners, in South Africa. It explores the term 'xenophobia' and various hypotheses about its causes. It also explores the ways in which xenophobia itself is depicted in the country. Portrayed as negative, abnormal and the antithesis of a healthy, normally functioning individual or society, xenophobia is read here as a new pathology for a 'new South Africa'.
Bronwyn Harris is a former Project Manager at the Centre for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation.