EFF accuses government of waging war on foreign nationals

Foreign shop owners in downtown Johannesburg have been the victims of heavy-handed policing as well as attacks by locals. File photo.
Foreign shop owners in downtown Johannesburg have been the victims of heavy-handed policing as well as attacks by locals. File photo.
Image: ISTOCK

The EFF has accused the government of sponsoring a "war" on foreign nationals from other African countries.

This after Soweto residents looted shops owned by foreigners on Wednesday night.

The red berets said that government was to blame because of its rhetoric following a police operation to clamp down on counterfeit goods in the Joburg CDB.

The Braamfontein-based opposition party characterised the incidents as "self-hate driven mass violence against our own".

It said the violence that had broken out in Soweto could spread across the country.

According to the EFF, undocumented foreign nationals should not be blamed as government had made it stressful for immigrants from the continent to attain documentation without bribing officials.

"We condemn it as a reactionary and shortsighted self-hate driven mass violence against our own. Had it been white people who were harassed by police in mass arrests the whole world would have already called it out for what it is: human rights violation. However, black lives do not matter even for a black government like in South Africa," said party spokesman Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.

"It is a fact that most black people who have to deal with the police and home affairs officials regarding immigration documentation are met with systematised corruption: they are forced to bribe SAPS, custom duty officials or JMPD.

"It is also impossible to attain legal documents on anything from the South African government if you are a black foreign national. This is because the illegality of foreign nationals allows government officials to continue benefiting from corruption."

On counterfeit goods, the EFF said it was malicious to associate them with African foreign nationals as crime had no colour or nationality.

The party called on its members to take the moral high ground and stop the violence.

Said Ndlozi: "All people are engaged in crime, white and black, foreigners and citizens. What allows crime to flourish is a corrupt government that makes illegality the only way of surviving. 

"We call on all EFF members and branches to work hard against the Afrophobic violence that is on the rise. We must educate our communities that Africa is one, it was always one and its economic success and sustainable peace depends on it being one."

Ndlozi said the ANC-led government should be "the last" to target foreign nationals from African countries where its freedom fighters sought refuge during apartheid.

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