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EDITORIAL | Politicians flirting with xenophobia are playing a deadly game

Leaders should be dealing with high unemployment and poverty rates instead of targeting foreign nationals

20 January 2022 - 20:53

Imagine sitting in the international departures lounge at the airport with your boss, waiting to catch a plane for a business trip. Two policemen approach, demanding to search your luggage for drugs because your boss is a foreign national. This is how a traumatic 12 days started for Cynthia Mobuhle Khedama, who ended up being detained in filthy police cells after a wrongful arrest. At the time, she was the victim of identity theft and her identity number was wrongly linked to a fraud accused. She tried to explain this to the police who pounced on her, but they sought all sorts of reasons to disregard her, including resorting to xenophobic remarks against her boss and boyfriend. She has now won a damages claim of R1m against police, with the judge saying he would have made the amount higher had she asked for more...

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