In 2008 I went to visit my son in Arusha, Tanzania. One day I went for lunch with his mum, who worked for the UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda. The country’s home affairs minister joined us. Before long the group had grown. I will never forget the fear and horror on everyone’s faces. They wanted to know what was happening in SA. I had no answer. I was ashamed to be a South African.

During that year there were 72 deaths and 150 incidents related to xenophobic violence. Since then there have been repeated waves of attacks against international migrants, who have been scapegoated for the government’s mismanagement of the economy. From 2009 to 2021 there were 794 incidents and 322 deaths, according to Xenowatch...

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