Hate crimes: South Africa’s prejudice gaze

Prior to the xenophobic attacks of May 2008, there was a spate of lesbian killings in South Africa. While the xenophobic attacks made headline news in the South African media, the brutal attacks on lesbians were relegated to the back pages.

We explore this disparity in the media’s treatment to reveal:
a) the disconnect between South Africa’s progressive constitution on sexual freedom and the articulation of the lived experience of sexuality which the media’s reticent helps to sediment;
and b) South Africa’s own internal struggle with itself, anxiety about the African Other whose embodied presence and practice of living is a reminder to underclass South African’s their own exclusion from the dream of a bountiful post-apartheid nation state.

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