Kopanang Africa Against Xenophobia (KAAX)
We call upon the South African Government and Police Services to show leadership by taking action against those fueling violence and xenophobic hatred, including taking immediate measures to address the unlawful acts and hate speech being committed by Operation Dudula.
March Against Xenophobia Racism, Gender-Based Exploitation and Classism in South Africa
Over the past few months, social media has been abuzz with postings by a group of people – under the banner of “Operation Dudula”, who publicly associate themselves and their unlawful actions with the so-called “MK Veterans”. This group has also been responsible for consistent hate speech, incitement to violence against so-called “illegal” immigrants, as well as inhumane acts of harassment and violence against children, women and men, simply because they are not South African citizens. We are marching today to register our rejection of the actions of “Operation Dudula” and all other such acts – whether verbal or physical – that are dividing Africans on our continent by spreading hatred, xenophobia division, greed and violence. These acts have continued in many instances with impunity.
- The JMPD and SAPS must enforce the law equally and do their job of protecting the rights to gather and protest
a. The JMPD’s prohibition of KAAX’s march of Human Rights Day is illegal and disingenuous. The JMPD has embraced the lies and misinformation of Operation Dudula, with no sign that due diligence was done to verify the (mis) information that was being shared, and this signalled to everyone that threats and intimidation are more important than upholding the law and made it clear that they are unwilling to do their jobs. It is almost beyond belief that KAAX has been forced to go to court to overturn an illegal act by the very entity whose mandate it is to uphold the law, for all! If this kind of thinking and approach is allowed to go unpunished the legitimacy of the police (whether JMPD or SAPS) might as well be thrown in the dustbin.
- The Minister of Home Affairs must resign!
a. We are outraged that the Minister of Home Affairs and the Premier of Gauteng have publicly stated that they are working with “Operation Dudula”. The Minister of Home Affairs is on record stating that he is receiving lists from Operation Dudula operatives of undocumented migrants and he will act upon this. This is indicative of the dehumanising approach to managing the movement of people (predominantly Black African People) by the state, in South Africa and elsewhere. This statement by the Minister of DHA confirms the fact that: despite legal protections afforded to asylum seekers, refugees and other vulnerable migrant groups in South Africa, the process of arrest, detention and deportation of individuals via the Immigration Act continues to occur without the requisite supervision to ensure these rights are safeguarded. It is more than outrageous that this very minister is encouraging non- compliance with our country’s relevant laws and policies.
b. We call for the Minister of Home Affairs – Dr Aaron Motsoaledi – to step down with immediate effect.
- The President must lead with the implementation of the National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and related intolerances.
a. President Cyril Ramaphosa said the following in the preface to the National Action Plan to Combat Racism, Racial Discrimination, Xenophobia and related intolerances.
b. As our nation marks 25 years of freedom and democracy, we are called upon, however, to acknowledge that this vision is undermined by recurrent manifestations of racism and racial discrimination. We are not alone in this, because racism and xenophobia, often cloaked in nationalism, is on the rise. However, to the extent that these challenges manifest in our own society, we bear responsibility for eliminating behaviour that violates the letter and spirit of the Preamble to our Constitution which says:
“We, the people of South Africa, Recognise the injustices of our
past; Honour those who suffered for justice and freedom in our
land; Respect those who have worked to build and develop our country; and Believe that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, united in our diversity.”
c. Racism and racial discrimination continue to be felt in our society alongside other forms of prejudice, sexism, xenophobia, homophobia, hate crimes and hate speech. The time has come for us to shed all shackles of prejudice and discrimination so that we can fulfil the promise of building a united, non-racial, non-sexist and prosperous country in which all who live in it are not just entitled to equality, but experience equality in their daily lives.
d. These are fine words but what is conspicuously absent from the President’s message on Human Rights Day 21st March 2022 – is any reference to the current inhumane, violent and illegal words and actions meted out to our fellow African brothers and sisters and their children. Right now the words of the National Action Plan are not worth the very glossy paper they are printed on!
- We call on the South African State (inclusive of the Police Services) to immediately:
• Implement a wealth tax in order to fund basic socio-economic services and infrastructure for the majority of those who live and work in South Africa who are poor and marginalised
• Implement a Basic Income Grant and ensure that social services are accessible and affordable for all, regardless of nationality
• To facilitate the resignation of the Minister of Home Affairs and to ensure that the DHA adheres to all relevant laws and regulations, and as a priority to ensure that every child born in our country has a birth registration documentation.
• To enforce the relevant laws against hate speech and incitement to violence equally and without fear or favour
• Stop intimidating, harassing, and criminalising non-nationals for no legal reason whatsoever
• Withdraw the xenophobic, proposed Employment Services Amendment Bill which seeks to formalise discriminatory measures related to the employment of foreign, as well as similarly xenophobic measures outlined in the National Labour Migration Policy
• Prioritise the implementation of the National Action Plan which has been missing in action since its launch in 2019.
- Kopanang Africa Against Xenophobia is committed to:
• Building solidarity and to mobilise to denounce all forms of violence – with priority given to violence against womxn and xenophobic violence.
• Engage in community assemblies and dialogues to begin conversations and build community mobilisation and build solidarity to end crime, unemployment and gender based violence.
• To mobilise against outsourcing, privatisation and casualisation of labour and expose the role of the private sector and the multinational corporations who must account for the fact that there has been a 56% hike in the number of people unemployed in South Africa over the last decade.
General Moyo – KAAX
Ferron Pedro – South African Federation of Trade Unions (SAFTU)
Hillbrow Police Station Station Commander Brigadier V Ntandane
Johannesburg Central Police Station Station Commander
Terri: 071 097 8160;
Trevor: 079 030 7657;
Cleo: 072 739 4122
This memorandum was written by Kopanang Africa Against Xenophobia (KAAX) and submitted publicly to representatives at Hillbrow and Johannesburg Central Police Stations on 26 March 2022.