Herman Mashaba. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES
Herman Mashaba. Picture: SUNDAY TIMES

Herman Mashaba and the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) have kissed and made up, forming an unlikely alliance in a fight against the Department of Home Affairs.

The ADF reported the Johannesburg mayor to the South African Human Rights Commission early in 2017 for being xenophobic after Mashaba had linked undocumented migrants to various social woes.

On Tuesday, the two protagonists announced a settlement, after going through mediation with the commission. The ADF said Mashaba’s comments were not reported in their entirety.

As part of the deal, the city’s migrant unit will hold monthly meetings, which members of the ADF will attend.

The ADF will join Johannesburg’s court bid against the Department of Home Affairs as amicus curiae. The city said that it was looking at all possible legal avenues to get the department to deal with the issue of illegal immigration, specifically in the identification and processing of undocumented immigrants.

Advocates Tembeka Ngcukaitobi and Dali Mpofu have been briefed on the matter and Mashaba said the city planned to file court papers.

ADF chairman Marc Gbaffou said it would be joining the city in court to try to understand why the government was failing to provide immigrants with documents. He said poorer countries in Africa were able to keep track of how many "visitors" they had. "It’s only in SA that government doesn’t want to count visitors."

Mashaba said their council had tried to negotiate in good faith with the department, but that this had come to nothing.

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