Groups representing immigrant communities in South Africa said they fear a recent upsurge in anti-foreigner sentiment could spark a recurrence of xenophobic attacks that rocked the country in 2008 and 2015.
“Foreigners are being portrayed as criminals,” Marc Gbaffou, chairman of the African Diaspora Forum, said by phone on Wednesday. “This is a very disturbing situation. Our members are really concerned” that more attacks are imminent.
Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba in November accused the national government of opening South Africa’s borders to “criminality.”