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By Citizen Reporter

Journalist


Diepsloot protests: Ramaphosa condemns police’ “apartheid-style” approach

Mmusi Maimane says he doesn't think there is a problem with the police checking for passports and visas - it's their job to do so.


Speaking to journalists on Saturday before a presidential imbizo in Bloemfontein, President Cyril Ramaphosa condemned police operations in Diepsloot where foreign nationals have reportedly been stopped and asked to produce proof of their identity.

“We cannot accept behaviour like that where people are hunted down that way and asked questions that way about their identity, because it takes us back to the apartheid way of doing things.

“We are now in a democracy and we should be very restrained and respectful of the rights of people in our country,” Ramaphosa said.

His comments come after police were accused of leading witch hunts against foreign nationals in Diepsloot following violent protests in the area this past week.

Residents were protesting against the high rate of violent crimes in the township, the lack of police visibility in the area as well as illegal immigration, which they believed are one of the sources of the increasing crime rate in Diepsloot.

Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi, Police Minister Bheki Cele and Gauteng Premier David Makhura addressed the Diepsloot community on Friday in a closed meeting at the local community centre.

During the meeting, the ministers heard that crime was the community’s biggest problem and not undocumented foreigners.

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Speaking to the community after the meeting, Motsoaledi said 25 immigration officers would be deployed in the area for the next three months to deal with immigration issues in accordance with South African law.

Cele condemned reports that recent police raids were witch-hunts against foreign nationals, saying they conducted the raids according to the law.

“We are going to be hard to all criminals,” he said on Saturday.

One SA Movement leader Mmusi Maimane took to Twitter to air his thoughts, saying that he doesn’t believe there is a problem with the police checking for passports and visas, adding that it’s their job to do so.  

Compiled by Xanet Scheepers

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