Zimbabwe News and Internet Radio

Zimbabweans join protest against ‘xenophobic’ Johannesburg mayor

By Mashudu Netsianda

Disgruntled Zimbabweans among other foreigners under the banner of the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) marched to the office of Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba in protest over his alleged xenophobic utterances.

Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba
Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba

Mr Mashaba drew the ire of many when he recently blamed crime in Johannesburg on foreigners, saying they are all illegal immigrants.

He said all foreigners from African countries should leave the city because they were criminals.

ADF on Monday hit out at Mr Mashaba, saying his remarks were likely to reignite a fresh wave of xenophobic violence.

They said Mr Mashaba’s comments were anti-migrants and reckless and urged the South Africa government to intervene.

ADF, which represents 21 African countries, is a non-profit making organisation that was formed soon after the 2008 xenophobic attacks.

“Many migrants are struggling to get their permits,” said Ivorian community leader Mr Marc Gbaffou on behalf of the ADF outside the Johannesburg Civic Centre, where he handed over a petition to the member of the mayoral committee for community development, Councillor Nonhlanhla Sifumba.

“What we know is that when somebody is a visitor in your country, and after five years you are not able to provide him with proper documentation, you must tell yourself that your system is faulty and you must give yourself time to fix that system. You don’t use your faulty system and blame it on your visitor,” said Gbaffou.

Mr Mashaba was not in the office and Clr Sifumba received the petition on his behalf.

The forum said migrants contribute positively to the economic growth of Johannesburg and South Africa as a country.

“Not all migrants are criminals. Crime doesn’t have a nationality. Stop stereotyping. If a mayor catches a criminal, he or she must be taken to the responsible authorities. The media is not the platform or place for parading criminals,” said the forum in its petition.

“You know, when people know the borders are open, people will cross them. In other countries people are saying they will build a wall. We don’t expect that; what we expect South Africa to do is to be able to control its borders because it’s not the duty of the visitor to control the border. Our mothers and sisters are selling mealie meal on the streets here, they just need to be managed by the mayor; they don’t want to be treated as criminals, because they are not,” read part of the ADF petition.

The Zimbabwean Government has since engaged South African authorities over Mr Mashaba’s remarks.

Zimbabwe’s Consul-General, Batiraishe Henry Mukonoweshuro said the Embassy raised a red flag over Mr Mashaba’s “reckless” utterances.

Mr Mashaba at the beginning of the month stated in his 100 days in office address that illegal foreigners living in Johannesburg must be treated as criminals since they had come to South Africa illegally and they should leave the city.

South Africa’s Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, in response, condemned the mayor’s remarks, saying his ministry was disturbed by Mr Mashaba’s utterances, which are likely to fan xenophobia.

The Minister said the government viewed the comments as unfortunate. Mr Gigaba last week met the mayor and discussed the government’s policy and interventions in relation to the management of international migration.

Mr Mashaba however, stuck to his guns, saying he has no regrets about his remarks.

During the meeting, Mr Gigaba defended the immigrants, saying they contributed meaningfully to the country’s economy.

Efforts to contact the chairperson of Zimbabwe Community in South Africa, Mr Ngqabutho Mabhena were fruitless as he was unreachable on his mobile. The Chronicle

  • mashaba whre were u came frm

    • mashaba may be from mars or Jupiter but criminal activities MUST stop and that’s what the mayor is simply saying.

    • And he must not say immigrants are criminals coz i have seen enough locals who commit worse crimes on earth

    • worried_zimbo

      Dhliwayo i dont understand your question, but i can answer it, his father is from Mozambique

  • What a bunch of cowards….. they are afraid of demonstrating in Zimbabwe. ……. toss em out

  • He is taking a leaf from Trump.An anti-immigrant campaign will surely win them the next election

    • don’t you think this is more of anti-criminal activities than anti-immigrants?

  • The guy clearly said undocumented illegal immigrants. He did not say all immigrants. No country likes to have undocumented immigrants. No country likes to have foreigners cross its border willy nilly without authorisation. There is nothing xenophobic about it.

    • I agree with you. A visit to Yeoville, Berea and Hilbrow makes you very annoyed. There has to be order for everyone to be safe and living in healthy environment. I also did not pick up any zenophobic tendencies from the Mayor’s statement. Something has to be done to restore sanity in some parts of Jozi. It will benefit everyone at the end of the day.

    • It is not Mashaba’s mandate to speak on behalf of Home Affairs. His remarks can easily be misinterpreted. That is the issue here.

    • Barnabas ‘Yiddo’ Muvhuti He is the Mayor of Johannesburg and it’s his office’s duty to take care of all citizens of Johannesburg, making sure they are safe and healthy. Illegal immigrants make it difficult to plan for a city as they distort the actual population of the place. Unfortunately because of Mugabe we as Zimbabweans have lost respect for the rule of law. Lawlessness is all we now know and want to export it to other countries.

    • Reuben Piss-off you talk rubbish,utter trash.Who do you speak for when u say we Zimbabweans?Speak for yourself,if u are a criminal not everyone is.I bet my last bond u not even Zimbabwean

    • Shorai thank u for telling this guy the truth, we are Africans and we cannot be illegal immigrants in Africa. Why are u talking abt Africans being illegal yet Zimbabweans housed Zambians, Mozambicans, Malawians n the 80s and even up to today but we never called them illegal immigrants. Mashaba made a careless statement and he instead of threatening foreigners shud rather seek audience wth them not to threaten them. Lastly if i wr Mashaba i would have retract e statement.

    • Heki

      You have a point, but the problem is the South Africans who start xenophobia are the uneducated part of the population, and when they hear something like this they just start violence on all immigrants, legal or not.

    • anyone can engage in crime irrespective of immigration status & nationality therefore his statement was irrational

    • dude STFU!….his remarks can easily be mis interpreted nd lead to xenophobic behaviour

    • Reuben uridhodhi

  • which Zimbabweans?

  • In some areas that is just semantics documented or undocumented it does not matter when the mob comes for you nobody asks to see your visa

    • but we should also ask why mobs end up doing that.Lets be very honest and be truthful. If everyone behaves well and refrain from criminal activities, mobs will not take the law into their hands.

      • worried_zimbo

        Oswell you are wrong, we are only made scapegoats, yes, they are foreigners who are criminals, but it does not mean all of them, South Africans are even worse, they work with foreigners in their criminal activities including the police, those are the biggest criminals, they must deport them as well, i dont know where.

    • Who said its us doing crime..and please if u get robbed by 1 foreigner it doesnt mean every robber is a foreigner.

    • not evry robber is a foreigner here but most of them they r

  • Ohhhh guys come back your

  • Kupenga uko if u are illegal u shld go back home. Kunwe kuda kuhakira siyai ma nigerians aite demonstrations we know ma south africans vanovatya. Kushaya zvekuitira toyi toyi nxcaaaa

  • Why can’t they demonstrate against our own government

  • He is evil ….fucking evil ..mashaba

  • Zimbabeans in south africa must respect south africans

  • muda kuita demo ku joza kumba hamudi zvanoshamisa

  • Iswai matayi muhuro ikoko ndookuti mupfidze,you dont want to shape your own country dzokai kumba!!!

  • I heard a DA and AÑC supporter with no high school degree or GED claiming an immigrant physician took their job. If the doctor gets deported, will this nincompoop get the job?

  • Asiwo umbavha hwanyanya muJoburg Cbd naana mbudzi vaya. He will be very dirty aine rasta yatsvukuruka. Vanokwachura earring riripa nzeve. One day they robbed me of a scrap 4ne neR20 masikati. To be clear enough let them catch those thieves and kill them at once.

  • It’s amazing Zimbabweans are able to protest in Jozi but will not even think about protesting in Harare. Mashaba was spot on, I fully support him. Shame to these Zimbabweans, instead of being grateful for SA’s generosity. SA has provided a cushion for these angry people, they should just be grateful and shut up.

  • I smell a Black Trump wanna be.

  • Hapana mnhu akazvara nenyika ska ndeyedu yese cos ndeyaMwari

  • Mashaba myb z being blamed cz he z a public figure but de truth nid to be told criminality in jozi z too much ppl are being terrorized day nd night in the city include us foreigners so sometym us as foreigners we have to understand it not dat if smthng being said about us we just cryfoul.der are mny criminality issues implicate zimbos in jozi wch u c evn @ yr own your country u cant allow such thing or to just went by without sayng.but fo those who want to protest I think dey must do it in zim.

  • It’s sad to see Zimbabweans support this man. The statement he made is reckless & uncalled for given his position in the society. In as much as it is directly to illegal immigrants, it can be misinterpreted by an average South African. It is such statements that cause xenophobic attacks & when it happens the violence won’t be directed at illegal immigrants but all immigrants. This what an ordinary Zimbabwean should understand & failing to is a clear indication of wasted school fees.

    • Very sad!!

    • mamama mamiswai maningi
      zivai kwenyu

    • worried_zimbo

      very true, in SA as long your are a foreigner, documented or undocumented they dont want you, so such statement are very dangerous, other people they use it to their advantage

  • Zimbabweans are shittin on th same bed that they sleep on, SA has been very generous and kind to us but we are not grateful, instead we go there n do criminal activities in other peoples countries, i was once robbed in Jozi with Zimbos bt hv neva came across a Malawian thief or robber so demostratin is another way of provin our sillyness coz we cant demonstrate in our own country xa

  • those foreigners ran away from messes in thier own countries ,they must be deported so they can help sort thier countries out.

  • kungwarira kuprotesta kuSA muchingo dzvanyirirwa makanyarara back in Zim

    • Lol……Taura hako Ras…Zvimakwara zvevanhu zvajaira kuziva ma rights outside Zim

  • Toothless dogs, go protest home against the regime u time wasters

  • If u can protest in Zim why should u protest in SA.Freedom is not for free.Someone must sacrifice their lives.

  • bhurwai maningi
    dzokai kwenyu

  • Stupide, Harare is nt Zimbabwe use common sense thats y always take everything 2 Harare

  • I am Zimbabwean but I support the statement by the Mayor. Nothing was Xenophobic he was very assertive and to the point. No country wants illegal immigrants. So get your facts right before you join a protest.

  • Lpw

    If was Mayor of this town I would complain to Jacob and and ask him what on earth is being done with the dicators whose people are crossing into SA instead of picking out on the ordinary people

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