SA can’t afford illegal migrants, says ActionSA’s Mashaba

Herman Mashaba takes a tough stance on undocumented immigrants, asserting that SA cannot have even one illegal person in the country.

ActionSA president Herman Mashaba, who is known to advocate against illegal foreigners, doesn’t care about the crime statistics – he says South Africa cannot afford to have even one undocumented person in the country.

“I’m very clear, I don’t want to live in a country where there is even one undocumented person. We are aware of it and we are not doing anything about it,” he said.

“That’s why when the so-called experts want to use such statistics, I get very angry. I don’t want to live in a country where there is one known undocumented person.

“It’s not about how many of them commit a crime or not, if you are in South Africa without documentation you have already committed a crime against our country.

“This is a fault of our government and our justice system and home affairs, for not doing something about this. If they are not going to do anything about it, it’s going to get worse until it leads to people taking the law into their own hands.”

Mashaba said he had raised the issue of communities being terrorised by illegal immigrants as mayor of Johannesburg, but he was labelled xenophobic.

He said the rule of law should be applied in every case and not selectively.

“If you want to destroy the country, then apply the rule of law selectively. The mess we see in the country is a result of us not respecting our laws,” he said.

“The constitution is clear on who should be in the country and on which documents you must have. If someone wants to call me xenophobic, then the authors of the constitution are xenophobic.”

Rutendo Matinyarare, who advocates on behalf of foreign nationals, said South Africa used to have a high crime rate before foreigners came here.

“Where does this notion come from that since foreigners came here, crime became high, when the crime was always high?” Mashaba asked.

“Why does it matter who committed the crime? Are the police not supposed to simply deal with the crime? Are the police not supposed to have intelligence who are part and parcel of the community, who gather information and give it to them?”

He said the reason they did not have a high crime rate in his home country of Zimbabwe was because intelligence was part of the society.

“Moreover, we do not designate crime according to race or tribe, which is what South Africa does. They are trying to police nationality instead of trying to fight crime.”

South African Human Rights Commission commissioner Angie Makwetla said it was likely that crime in places like Diepsloot, Olievenhoutbosch and Cosmo City was being committed by people who were illegal and legal in the country.

“Whether we live alone or with migrants, crime is found in all communities,” she said.