South Africa Simmers in the Wake of Violence

- | 6 months ago

JOHANNESBURG—A middle-aged man, his face a swollen map of blood spatters, cowered against a dirty wall in an alleyway in the Johannesburg city center.

Above his head, spray-painted in dripping ebony, were the capitalized words, “LIFE IS [expletive]. ” “We can hear you are makwerekwere; don’t lie to us, dog!” a youth shouted as he kicked the man on the side of his head.

“Makwerekwere” is a derogatory slang word commonly used in South Africa to insult black migrants from the rest of the continent.

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