Police’s dire warning: Illegal immigration a ticking time bomb

‘Locals who punish illegals for crimes will suffer if the foreign victims fight back.’

Crime-ridden townships like Diepsloot, Olievenhoutbosch, Ivory Park and Cosmo City in Gauteng could see a bloodbath soon if locals again try to attack foreign nationals – and they fight back, warns a senior police officer.

The officer, who did not want to be named for fear of being victimised by police management, said the issue of illegal immigration in South Africa was a ticking time bomb.

He said the crime statistics do not reflect the true crimes committed by illegal foreigners in communities like Diepsloot, Olievenhoutbosch, Ivory Park, Cosmo City and other communities.

He said foreign nationals were responsible for serious crimes such as rape and murder in such communities.

More ominously, he added, police have realised that in communities like Diepsloot, foreigners now outnumber South Africans.

The officer said because of the violence South Africans meted out to foreigners – as happened recently in Diepsloot where foreigners were attacked because locals believed they were behind heinous crimes in the area – he feared that when foreigners retaliated, South Africans, including the police, would suffer.

“We are getting to the point where foreigners in these communities will start running the place just like in Hillbrow and Sunnyside, where foreigners are demanding the area be named ‘small Lagos’,” he said.

“There have been many incidents where police will try to arrest a suspect in an area full of foreigners but because we are outnumbered, we can’t make the arrests.

“In most countries where these people come from, violence is the order of the day and killing a person is not a big thing. Some of them have been handling heavy machine guns from an early age so we’ll get to a point where they will say ‘let us unite and fight these South Africans’… and that’s a war we will not win.”

The officer said that the crime statistics were not a true reflection of what police were facing on the ground.

“The statistics might be wrong because most of the illegal foreigners who commit crimes are not caught for various reasons.

“But mostly because they are unaccounted for,” he added.

“Even if a crime is committed, it cannot be traced because we don’t have anything to work with except for the fact that a person will come to the police station and say they were robbed, raped or even some witnesses come and a person was murdered by someone speaking Zimbabwean Ndebele in a foreign accent.”

The senior officer said what they noticed was that in areas such as Diepsloot, Olievenhoutbosch, Ivory Park and Cosmo City, South Africans were most likely to commit crimes like domestic violence, assault, theft, shoplifting and petty crimes.

“You find that this person assaulted someone at home or a tavern and commits what people call ‘small crime’. They are very easy to arrest because they are usually known by the complainant.”

“But in terms of violent crimes like murder, rape and robbery, it’s people we cannot trace. So they might be the source of problems in these communities… we work with the facts of people who are arrested.

“So when you run fingerprints or DNA when an illegal immigrant is arrested, you end up seeing the person has been committing many crimes and been getting away with it because they are undocumented.”

The officer said the only way to deal with the situation was for the constitution to be changed, or for units in departments like home affairs, police and human settlements to deal with the issues, instead of blaming one another.

“In some instances, you find a person who can speak basic isiZulu or looking like a Pakistani, but when you request the papers, his South African name is Jabulani. We as the police, can’t do anything about that, except for home affairs intervening.

“The same goes for human settlements, we need to go door-to-door and check these areas because they live in these communities,” he said.