One of the most gruesome events in recent years cast a long shadow over the ANC’s policy conference, which started at Nasrec on Friday. Hours before, eight young women were raped and robbed by a group of men in Krugersdorp. The details were still unclear, yet the incident featured early in proceedings, in President Cyril Ramaphosa’s opening speech.

Not much later, the police arrested dozens of foreign nationals. While some were in possession of documents allowing them to be in SA legally, most weren’t. But it wasn’t immediately clear how — or if — they were linked to the crime. That didn’t stop the ruling party from using the horrific incident to defend a populist proposal to clamp down on immigration.  ..

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