‘Criminal’ Operation Dudula could lead to repeat of unrest, DA warns
While its mission might be to protect communities, it is marred by xenophobia, official opposition says
The DA on Tuesday labelled the actions of Operation Dudula as criminal and xenophobic, becoming the latest party to condemn the group.
The DA has joined the EFF, ANC Veterans League and President Cyril Ramaphosa in expressing their disapproval of activities of the movement led by Nhlanhla “Lux” Dlamini.
Dlamini, listed on the charge sheet as Nhlanhla Mohlauli, is out on bail after being charged with housebreaking and malicious damage to property. He was arrested on Thursday and spent the weekend in police custody after Victor Ramerafe, accompanied by the EFF, opened a case against him at the Dobsonville police station on Wednesday.
Ramerafe’s home was ransacked last week by Operation Dudula members claiming to have received information that he was selling drugs from the premises. No drugs were found in a raid on the premises. Ramerafe said the group damaged his house and stole R300.
Operation Dudula, which was announced in June 2021, has since mushroomed in various parts of the country with its main objective being to root out illegal immigrants.
DA home affairs spokesperson Angel Khanyile said they condemn the “xenophobic rhetoric and subsequent illegality against foreigners in SA that seem part … of Operation Dudula”.
While its mission might be to protect communities, it cannot be “at the expense of foreign nationals who call SA home”.
“The DA understands the frustration faced by marginalised communities, but we do not believe that the appropriate course of action is xenophobia and violence.”
The official opposition believes the actions of Dudula will lead to the violence and unrest similar to that in July 2021 after the incarceration of former president Jacob Zuma. Chaos erupted in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal as shops were looted and scores of businesses were damaged. More than 300 people died in the unrest.
“SA cannot afford another bout of widespread riots. Our economy is simply too fragile to withstand the attacks by individuals whose words fan the flames of unrest,” Khanyile said.
She took aim at those whose messages she said stir up tensions against foreign nationals.
“Politicians, individuals and organisations that fan xenophobic flames must face the consequences of their deplorable actions. They will see the country in chaos again only to score cheap political points.
“Sentiments by political parties like ActionSA, the Patriotic Alliance and the EFF cannot go unchallenged. Blaming foreigners for years of destruction caused by ANC greed and corruption is not only foolish and naive, it is dangerous. It ignores the reality that foreign migrants often create jobs and job opportunities for South Africans,” Khanyile said.
She called for increased support for community policing forums (CPFs) and for the police to foster better relationships with the communities they serve.
Many communities experience the police “only as part of the problem”, she said.
She called for the State Security Agency to monitor the situation closely and for home affairs to “ensure the quick and correct processing of visas and other documentation”.
“SA will not flourish while xenophobia persists and individuals, including some politicians, get away with spouting hatred and intolerance.”
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