Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni
Premium Journalist
2 minute read
7 Dec 2016
5:46 am

Gigaba to meet Mashaba over ‘unfortunate’ comments on migrants

Simnikiwe Hlatshaneni

Mashaba had previously said illegal immigrants were 'criminals' and should leave the city.

File picture: Mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba. Picture: Neil McCartney

Johannesburg executive mayor Herman Mashaba will meet Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba.

During the meeting, Mashaba intends to discuss what he has said about foreign nationals with the minister.

Addressing media during his 100 days in office event last week, Mashaba said time was running out for illegal immigrants in the city centre.

He said he had already engaged a number of embassies to discuss the issue.

“You see, for me, when I call these criminals criminals, I want them to understand that they are criminals,” Mashaba said.

“They are holding our country to ransom and I won’t allow that. Illegal foreign nationals in the inner city must leave.”

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According to Gigaba’s office, the minister viewed the comments as unfortunate and will brief the mayor on government’s policy in relation to international migration.

“The minister has repeatedly called on all leaders, irrespective of their political allegiance, to desist from statements that could incite xenophobic attitudes‚” it said yesterday.

But Mashaba on Tuesday told The Citizen he was looking forward to the meeting.

“It’s interesting that the minister can be cross with me when I have asked him to help our city ensure that we respect the rule of law,” Mashaba remarked.

“The minister has a responsibility to ensure that people who are in our city respect the laws of this country, so I am happy that he’s willing to meet with me, so we can find a lasting resolution to this problem.

“We can’t subject our people to a lawless society.”

Gigaba was adamant about addressing Mashaba’s remarks.

“All of us have the responsibility to act in a manner that does not incite any hatred toward fellow human beings, irrespective of where they come from,” Gigaba said.

“I will brief [Mashaba] on the interventions government has implemented in this regard.”

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