Editorial: Home affairs hypocrisy

For migrants who have watched the Gupta citizenship saga over the past week, rage does not begin to describe their feelings. This family got what many could not: they found the secret to getting home affairs to do their bidding.

The laissez-faire attitude of Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba, as he summarily stripped the Guptas of their citizenship, then recanted his statement (using his director general as a mouthpiece), was the only thing most African migrants could relate to in this entire situation.

The legality of a migrant’s stay in South Africa is entirely at the whim of incompetent and/or indifferent officials. Your country of origin is an amusement to them, and you should be grateful simply to be here — you should not ask to have your humanity recognised or be treated with kindness, fairness or professionalism.

As for the Guptas’ experience with home affairs, who knew it could be so efficient? Who knew you could be treated in a professional manner without being laughed at for wanting a better life and going about it legally? Who knew you could be granted permits without humiliation, exorbitant costs or unnecessary rigamarole? One prominent family knew. Don’t start getting ideas above your station, though.

Subscribe to the M&G

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.

The Mail & Guardian is a proud news publisher with roots stretching back 35 years, and we’ve survived right from day one thanks to the support of readers who value fiercely independent journalism that is beholden to no-one. To help us continue for another 35 future years with the same proud values, please consider taking out a subscription.

Related stories

Former state security minister Bongo back in court

Bongo and his co-accused will appear in the Nelspruit magistrate’s court in Mpumalanga over charges of fraud, corruption and theft

Too broke for Mboweni to budget

The scramble to find cash for an SAA bailout, Covid-19 grants and civil servants’ demands force postponement of mini-budget

We don’t need new names

COMMENT A deeply embedded patriarchal practice assumes that a married woman...

Editorial: The ANC buys itself (more) time

There is a truth in politics: this crisis will pass, and people will be distracted by the next one. Just survive this moment, and you will escape accountability

Editorial: Corruption taints us all

The SIU revealed that it is investigating 658 companies that may have profited unfairly from the Covid-19 crisis. Together those companies raked in over R5-billion — money that could have been better spent plugging some of the many leaks that have imperilled South Africa’s democracy.

Bank guarantees foil Denel’s R4.5-bn Egypt contract

Loss of work is the last thing the beleaguered state enterprise needs

Subscribers only

Toxic power struggle hits public works

With infighting and allegations of corruption and poor planning, the department’s top management looks like a scene from ‘Survivor’

Free State branches gun for Ace

Parts of the provincial ANC will target their former premier, Magashule, and the Free State PEC in a rolling mass action campaign

More top stories

Air pollution link in 15% of global Covid-19 deaths

Researchers have found that, because ambient fine particulate air pollution aggravates comorbidities, it could play a factor in coronavirus fatalities

Mboweni plans to freeze public sector wage increases for the...

The mid-term budget policy statement delivered by the finance minister proposes cutting all non-interest spending by R300-billion.

SAA to receive R10.5-billion government bailout after all

Several struggling state-owned entities received extra funds after the medium term budget policy speech

BMW X3 thrives in the M stable

The compact SUV is so at home with its new badge that’s it’s surprising it didn’t happen sooner

press releases

Loading latest Press Releases…

The best local and international journalism

handpicked and in your inbox every weekday