The Operation Dudula movement in South Africa has officially been launched in Durban, South Africa, with hundreds of its members storming the streets of the town on Sunday.
Under the watchful eyes of the police, the protesters sung and screamed anti-immigrant slogans. They then went to the Point Police Station and handed over a memorandum with demands.
They demanded that the government take measures to address the issue of unauthorised immigrants who are suspected of being involved in a variety of criminal acts.
“So the issues are that people are coming into the country and they are not documented and the government is doing nothing about it,and it’s difficult to find them when they commit crime. We just need our departments to actually enforce the laws that are there, because these laws are not enforced.” Zandile Dabula, the National Secretary for Operation Dudula said.
Immigrants and refugees are fearful for their safety as anti-immigrant sentiment rises in largely low-income South African neighbourhoods known as townships, but Dabula questions why.
“I don’t understand why we should be called xenophobic because all we are asking is that people need to be documented when they come to this country. It’s done in other countries but people are not called xenophobic, but why are we being called xenophobic when South Africans are doing it?”
For Dan Radebe, deputy chairperson of the movement, said;”Durban becomes a critical point of this movement because it houses the busiest harbour in the Southern African Development Community”.
“That is the very same harbour they are using as the point of entry for all the fake goods that have flooded our country, killing our textile industry which then affects the unemployment rate as well.”
Meanwhile, Last week, News Central reported that Philan Gumede, the head of Durban’s Operation Dudula, appeared before the Durban tribunal for inciting public violence and breaking the Cybercrime Act.
Gumede, 36, was accused of recording a voice memo and relaying it to members of Operation Dudula, instructing them to collect and remove foreign immigrants, close their stores, and confiscate their belongings.
Operation Dudula is a protest campaign that is taking place around the country, asking that foreign nationals show proof that they are legally present in the country.
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