Against the background of Operation Dudula intensifying its campaign to drive illegal foreign nationals out of the country, marauding camouflage-clad men over the weekend swooped on non-South Africans in Kempton Park’s busy Central Avenue – attacking a Zimbabwean riding a Mr Delivery motorcycle and threatening to close Pakistani-owned shops. Operation Dudula With Operation Dudula having registered as a political party to contest next year’s elections, the Centre for Analytics and Behavioural Change (CABC), has in its latest study found that SA’s ongoing challenges - rising cost of living, unemployment, corruption and load shedding - provided “the perfect breeding ground for…
Against the background of Operation Dudula intensifying its campaign to drive illegal foreign nationals out of the country, marauding camouflage-clad men over the weekend swooped on non-South Africans in Kempton Park’s busy Central Avenue – attacking a Zimbabwean riding a Mr Delivery motorcycle and threatening to close Pakistani-owned shops.
With Operation Dudula having registered as a political party to contest next year’s elections, the Centre for Analytics and Behavioural Change (CABC), has in its latest study found that SA’s ongoing challenges – rising cost of living, unemployment, corruption and load shedding – provided “the perfect breeding ground for perpetrators of online anti-foreign national sentiments to spread their narrative”.
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According to the CABC, in online platforms, foreign nationals were blamed for the country’s deteriorating state – linked to news reports of crime and service delivery challenges – “despite the lack of supporting evidence in some posts”.
“Posts focused on activities of alleged foreign national drug dealers and misrepresenting xenophobic views as patriotism, were among those that received the most traction.
“More than 80% of the mentions showed a negative sentiment towards foreign nationals, while only 5% showed a positive sentiment,” said the organisation.
In its Twitter account, Operation Dudula has warned: “Companies in our communities not hiring South Africans because they wish to use cheap illegal immigrants, are to be closed down until they comply.”
The account also features speeches by Operation Dudula national coordinator Thabo Ngayo and secretary-general Zandile Dabula, during a protest outside the Dobsonville Mall in Soweto on Friday.
Said Ngayo: “Comrades, do not underestimate yourselves and allow these companies to play with us.
“You cannot allow that, because this is our country.
“We have children here to support.
“How can we support our children with hungry stomachs, when we are not working here.”
Calls to ‘audit’ all foreign nationals
Dabula is shown calling for an audit of all foreign nationals.
“We have been talking about illegal immigrants when it was not fashionable to talk about them.
“We went out there and we were bold about it, that we want these people to leave our country – not just the illegal ones, but the ‘legal ones’ who are questionable, with fraudulent documents,” said Dabula.
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Commenting on the Kempton Park weekend incidents, Dabula, said the party did not encourage its members “not to act outside the boundaries of the law – especially now that we will be contesting the 2024 elections”.
Added Dabula: “Our message to Operation Dudula members is that South Africans are ‘gatvol’ and are determined to remove the current administration.
“Let us defeat them on the ballot, so that we can change policies and deal with corruption, harshly.
“It is our position that illegal foreigners must be deported and we know which constituted department must do this – Home Affairs.
“Operation Dudula’s modus operandi is to collect data and give it to the relevant department or authority to act on the data we provide.
“South Africans have seen us on numerous occasions, where our operations were led by police, Home Affairs and the Department of Employment and Labour.”
Scapegoating ‘illegal foreigners’
Policy expert Dr Nkosikhulule Nyembezi, said there has been “an increasing risk of victimisation of foreign nationals in South Africa over the past 12 years by opportunistic politicians and criminals who cannibalise on the government’s failure to control the entry into the country of immigrants and asylum seekers”.
“Fuelling the risk, is the presence of thousands of foreign nationals who are fugitives from justice in their countries and yet roam freely in our communities.
“This raises awareness about the dangers that threaten our collective efforts to promote social cohesion by also integrating foreign nationals in our communities – instead of confining them into camps while they wait to be issued permits to remain in the country.
“In the run up to the 2024 elections, South Africans must guard against opportunistic politicians seeking to gain power by sowing hatred and violence against foreigners.
“Polarisation has wreaked havoc in Europe and in other continents.”
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