Cyril Ramaphosa has laid into those perpetuating anti-foreigner sentiment in South Africa, lashing out at groups like Operation Dudula for ‘behaving like the apartheid government’.
Ramaphosa compares anti-foreigner protests to apartheid
In his weekly newsletter, the president said that groups who demanding to see identification from people they suspect of being foreigners are echoing Mzansi’s painful past. He also made reference to several incidents related to the Operation Dudula movement, who have been leading anti-migrant protests.
Xenophobic tensions are on the rise in South Africa, and a shocking week of violence in Diepsloot has brought the community to the brink. Seven SA nationals were murdered last weekend, which then prompted something of a witch-hunt. A group of locals took their frustrations out on a Zimbabwean immigrant.
Elvis Nyati was brutally attacked, before being set on fire and killed. The incident prompted several ministerial visits, with the ANC government issuing a desperate call for calm – and Ramaphosa has reinforced these pleas.
President continues beef with Operation Dudula, others
Speaking on Monday, Cyril scoffed at the idea that people carrying out anti-migrant attacks are patriots, and instead labelled those behind the violence – including Operation Dudula members – as ‘immoral, racist, and criminal’. Eish, they’re not going to like that…
“We have seen people being stopped on the street by private citizens. We have seen some political leaders making unscientific statements about immigrants to exploit people’s grievances for political gain. We have seen marches being led on people’s homes. People are being attacked, even killed due to their looks or accents.”
“Attacking those we suspect of wrongdoing merely because they are a foreign national is not an act of patriotism. It is immoral, racist and criminal. In the end, it will lead to xenophobia, whose consequences we have lived through in previous years. But in the main the people of South Africa are not xenophobic.”
- You can read Cyril Ramaphosa’s full statement here
Attacking those we suspect of wrongdoing merely because they are a foreign national is not an act of patriotism. It is immoral, racist and criminal. In the end, it will lead to xenophobia, whose consequences we have lived through in previous years. https://t.co/NMPFg9PVES pic.twitter.com/kxfoGeg4Ap
— Cyril Ramaphosa 🇿🇦 (@CyrilRamaphosa) April 11, 2022