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Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON.
Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi. Picture: TREVOR SAMSON.

Home affairs minister Aaron Motsoaledi has tipped the ANC’s hand as a party intent on pandering to populist xenophobia to shore up its waning electoral support. 

Clearly not content to simply sleep on the job, like many of his predecessors, Motsoaledi has instead opted to leave a trail of devastation. In particular, he has chosen to end the Zimbabwean exemption permit, which allows 200,000 Zimbabweans to live and work in SA, by the end of this year.

Commendably, the Helen Suzman Foundation has gone to court to overturn the decision — prompting an uncommonly vicious attack from Motsoaledi.

He said there was a “growing trend by some NGOs to sabotage” decisions taken by the government “using the courts”.

He said organisations such as the Helen Suzman Foundation should not have “licence to abuse the bill of rights”, saying this should be “nipped in the bud”. 

This intemperate instinct for autocracy illustrates that Motsoaledi evidently doesn’t believe anyone should question the government’s diktats — no matter how ham-fisted, unjust or silly they may be. And it reveals why Motsoaledi is probably the last person you’d want as your home affairs minister.

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