Why does this country’s political class complain when people on the ground attack immigrants? Because it hates competition. It is becoming clear that one of the few issues on which the entire political spectrum is agreed is that it is good politics to beat up on immigrants. The trailblazer in the current wave of prejudice is Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba, who regularly blames immigrants for just about everything — his best effort was his claim that the home affairs department needed to act because illegal mining was threatening Soccer City with collapse. His party, the DA, shares his view that people who are not born here are a threat; inspired no doubt by Donald Trump, it is making border security a key element of its message to voters this year. Dumping on immigrants is, however, no DA monopoly. Health minister Aaron Motsoaledi has blamed the state of the public health system on foreign nationals who, he claimed, were increasing infection rates in public hospitals. To the left...

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