Illegal migrants: I told you so!
Scapegoating of foreigners comes as no surprise
Ihate to say I told you so. I’m lying, I don’t hate to say I told you so. Regular readers of Straight & Two Beers will remember the first column I penned this year warning our government that it was sitting on a tinder box of illegal immigrants, which had the potential of blowing up on its face.
Ordinarily, a columnist ought not to quote himself but I just could not resist it. It was barely the first week of January when about 700 illegal immigrants from our neighbours north of Limpopo made a beeline for Mzansi.
Home Affairs Minister Aaron Motsoaledi took one for the team for clamping down on illegal immigration.
I cautioned the governing party that this was a stew of their making when they threw the borders open circa 1994. I had not even heard of the name Operation Dudula but could discern that sooner rather than later the brown stuff would hit the fan.
I don’t know whether those in charge of our affairs bother to digest what we say, but clearly some of our leaders are dozing off at the wheel.
Three months later, we now have a mob called Operation Dudula, which has taken it upon itself to get rid of so-called foreigners, particularly of a darker hue. The Duduling mob is wreaking havoc and gaining momentum in Gauteng where they visit migrant communities to sniff out illegal immigrants.
For the longest time the “downtrodden” have been miffed about foreigners “taking their jobs” but the powers-that-be do not pay attention.
Our men and women in blue are overstretched trying to keep the peace when Dudula comes to Alexandra, Hillbrow and Orange Groove.
The upper middle class bleats its cries of xenophobia while the ruling class pretends the problem does not exist. With our high unemployment rate, it was only a matter of time before foreigners were scapegoated.
President Cyril Ramaphosa admitted it was not the job of the government to create employment. He may be right, but the race at the bottom for scarce resources will be the undoing of his administration. The people are gatvol and will clutch at any straw they think will change their fortunes. Police Minister Bheki Cele is up the creek without a paddle when he tells the locals to surrender their weapons while foreigners may be armed to the teeth.
Gqeberha taxi drivers met their match during clashes with Somalis who returned fire with fire and torched their taxis last October.
Many cheered when the police killed 20 Zimbabweans and a Motswana during the cash-in-transit siege in Rossettenville, Joburg. I told you so, wena government.