Govt moves to restore order after xenophobic attacks

In a week since the army was deployed to volatile areas affected by xenophobic unrest in South Africa, more than 200 illegal immigrants have been arrested and many of them may be deported.

The majority of undocumented migrants were apprehended in the Johannesburg suburb of Mayfair (144), 67 people were arrested in Hillbrow and eight in Pretoria.

Minister Jeff Radebe, who is heading the inter-ministerial committee on migration, told journalists on Tuesday that 265 suspects have been arrested and charged in relation to 150 cases of public violence around the country.

Since the deployment of the army last Tuesday, there has been three search and seizure operations – in Mayfair and Hillbrow, and at the Alexandra hostel.

“Government is determined to restore and maintain order within our communities. Operation Fiela-Reclaim is an operation to rid our country of illegal weapons, drug dens, prostitution rings and other illegal activities,” Radebe said.

Undocumented immigrants repatriated

He announced that government was working hard to ensure that 1 507 documented people awaiting repatriation would be sent home as soon as possible.

“We have thus far repatriated a total of 1 997 undocumented migrants from both KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng temporary shelters,” Radebe said.

The majority of the repatriated migrants were from Malawi, with 911 Malawi nationals sent home. Seven hundred and fifty three Zimbabweans were repatriated; as were 316 Mozambicans and 17 Tanzanians.

Radebe confirmed that an Ethiopian, a Zimbabwean, a Mozambican and a Bangladeshi were among those who lost their lives in the xenophobic violence.

Marcus Natas, an Ethiopian, was killed in a petrol bombing in Umlazi, southwest of Durban.

A Zimbabwean – only identified as Muvo – died after being attacked by a mob in Chatsworth.

Act of criminality

In Verulam, Sabastio Dava died following a mob attack while Bangladeshi national Shaofic Shaof Ul Alam died as a result of a gun shot in Plessislaer, KwaZulu-Natal.

“The preliminary investigation reveals that the death of Mozambican citizen Manuel Jossias, also known as Emmanuel Sithole, related to an act of criminality and is therefore not included,” Radebe said.

Three South Africans also lost their lives in the brutal attacks in KwaZulu-Natal.

Radebe noted that the department of international relations was at pains to mend relations with African diplomats.

“We are reaching out to reassure the global community that South Africa is stable and open for business,” he said.

These are unprecedented times, and the role of media to tell and record the story of South Africa as it develops is more important than ever. But it comes at a cost. Advertisers are cancelling campaigns, and our live events have come to an abrupt halt. Our income has been slashed.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years. We’ve survived thanks to the support of our readers, we will need you to help us get through this.

To help us ensure another 35 future years of fiercely independent journalism, please subscribe.


READ IT IN FULL: Ramaphosa’s address on the extension of...

This is the full address given by President Cyril Ramaphosa on April 9

Meet the doctor leading Africa’s fight to contain the coronavirus...

Dr Matshidiso Moeti’s father helped to eliminate smallpox. Now she’s leading Africa’s efforts against the coronavirus

Stella set to retain her perks

Communication minister will keep Cabinet perks during her two months of special leave

Covid-19 grounds Nigeria’s medical tourists

The country’s elites, including the president, travelled abroad for treatment but now they must use the country’s neglected health system

Press Releases

Rahima Moosa Hospital nursing college introduces no-touch facial recognition access system

The new system allows the hospital to enrol people’s faces immediately, using artificial intelligence, and integrates easily with existing access control infrastructure, including card readers and biometrics

Everyone’s talking about it. Even Kentucky

Earlier this year South African fried chicken fast-food chain, Chicken Licken®, launched a campaign for their wallet-friendly EasyBucks® meals, based on the idea of ‘Everyone’s talking about it.’

New energy mix on the cards

REI4P already has and will continue to yield thousands of employment opportunities

The online value of executive education in a Covid-19 world

Executive education courses further develop the skills of leaders in the workplace

Sisa Ntshona urges everyone to stay home, and consider travelling later

Sisa Ntshona has urged everyone to limit their movements in line with government’s request

SAB Zenzele’s special AGM postponed until further notice

An arrangement has been announced for shareholders and retailers to receive a 77.5% cash payout

20th Edition of the National Teaching Awards

Teachers are seldom recognised but they are indispensable to the country's education system

Awards affirm the vital work that teachers do

Government is committed to empowering South Africa’s teachers with skills, knowledge and techniques for a changing world