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Immigration policy

Why The Government Isn't Dealing With People Who Are Encouraging Anti Immigrants Sentiments?

People who are behind the stirring up of hatred of immigrants are politicians and community groups.

Herman Mashaba is one politician who has stressed that people from outside should only be allowed in the country with proper documentation. He recently joined a chorus of critics condemning EFF leader Julius Malema for taking the law into his hand by going around inspecting restaurants that have hired illegal immigrants. He retaliated against Malema's act and told the media that the day that will happen is when the South Africans will resort to taking the law into their own hands will when they collapse the country as citizens.

The comments and the inspections came amid mounting anti-immigrant sentiment in some communities and fears that the tensions will lead to another eruption of xenophobic violence. Community groups such as Operation Dudula have in recent days been evicting foreigners and burning stalls in Soweto. Mashaba begged people not to resort to violence. South African and foreign nationals who are in this country legally must live together in peace and harmony.

Mashaba does not blame the foreign nationals but he condemns the ANC government that has failed to register everyone in the country. Immigration has become a massive political issue. Mashaba’s recent local government election success was attributed to his party’s platform – wanting to send all undocumented foreigners back to their respective countries. Malema, the EFF leader, had taken a different position, vowing in November never to turn against African immigrants in exchange for votes.

Malema went around d and inspected the ratio of employees lists at restaurants especially in the shopping centers around Johannesburg to find out the ratio of foreign-born to local employees marked an abrupt turn for the EFF. At Ocean Basket in Menlyn, the EFF’s Obakeng Ramabodu said after meeting the manager that the party was giving the restaurant two weeks to reverse its ratio of South Africans to migrant staff. Mashaba called the acts of those who harass businesses unacceptably. He said government structures like labor departments and inspectors are employed to do their jobs for what they are paid for. We cannot allow any South African to take the law into their own hands but rather use constitutional rights to express their dissatisfaction.

Meanwhile, Labour Minister Thulas Nxesi said quotas need to be imposed on foreign workers, and semi-skilled employment needs to be regulated. The former chief David Tembe who was appointed as MMC of Community Safety in Johannesburg was against the act done by the EFF on Wednesday. He was also surprised why the police did not arrest those who acted against the law. He condemned groups like Operation Dudula, whose leader Nhlanhla Lux removed foreign traders from the Bara taxi rank on Sunday, as criminals. According to the media Dudula misidentified some traders and evicted a few South African traders too. Lux is distributing a pamphlet calling for a day of action against foreigners on 22 January.

Social media users reacted strongly to the EFF action on Wednesday. Former ANC NEC member Raymond Suttner wrote on his Twitter timeline: Xenophobic discourse is always coded. No one simply says do away with/remove the foreign poor, for it is not aimed at wealthy people from the North. The EFF believes in nothing but benefitting themselves, so it matters little to them that they once preached an anti-xenophobic message. Independent pundit Palesa Morudu Rosenberg said on Twitter: “lIn 2022 the constitution is a problem. The rule of law is a problem. African immigrants are a problem. It is the coming together of right-wing forces and will lead to violence. Not a single poor person will benefit anything from what is about to come. Feminist and activist Nomboniso Gasa said she felt ashamed. She had been trying to find a language to describe how she feel about the xenophobia and victimizing of so-called foreign nationals Then she realized there are no other words but simply to speak of the shame and own it.

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EFF Herman Mashaba Mashaba Operation Dudula South African


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