Cabinet condemns Dudula Movement anti-foreigners campaign in Alex
The cabinet has condemned the recent violent and public clashes between South Africans and allegedly undocumented foreigners in Alexandra township near Sandton.
“No form of disorder, smashing infrastructure, beating of people who happen to not belong in your country will resolve this matter. It can only be resolved within the laws of the country,” minister in the presidency Mondli Gungubele said on Thursday.
Addressing journalists during a post-cabinet briefing, Gungubele said the cabinet welcomed the speedy intervention by law enforcement agencies, which resulted in calm being restored to the area and the arrest of several people accused of public violence.
“No amount of discontent can justify the violation of people’s rights,” he said.
On Tuesday SowetanLIVE's sister publication TimesLIVE reported that at least five people had been arrested in Alexandra, as police continued to search for those leading and taking part in the Dudula Movement campaign targeting illegal foreign nationals in townships.
The local movement is believed to be separate from the national Operation Dudula, seeking the same outcome but through different means.
Tensions continue to rise in SA as locals complain about foreigners “taking over” the local economy.
Gungubele said the government was aware of the underlying issues. He said labour minister Thulas Nxesi was tabling a policy to deal with the matter.
“We know that some of the underlying factors in this matter are economic insecurity by South Africans and the failure of South African business to abide by the established protocol targets. You must have heard pronouncements [all over Africa] on how various countries are trying to protect jobs for their citizens.”
However, SA's approach acknowledges that one cannot cut the country out of the continent, he said.
“There are certain sets of jobs which we think need to be protected for South Africans, but the basic issue here is that as we move towards an Africa that is seamless and one, we walk that path with legality.”
Gungubele said it has been argued that if illegality is allowed to prevail, the outcomes can be dire. “You cannot say that just because you have a noble intention you must break the law in pursuit of that, because the worst can come out of that.”
Gungubele urged communities to use peaceful means to resolve disputes and to report all illegal activities to law enforcement agencies.
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