Some South Africans staged a peaceful protest in the country today urging the government to cancel special permits for Zimbabweans, Mozambicans and other foreigners.
The protesters carrying banners inscribed with the words ‘Put South Africa First’, demanded the cancellation of over 250,000 special dispensation given to some foreigners, the immediate termination of all contracts of foreign workers in the hospitality, building and other sectors.
They also demanded the placing of all refugees and asylum seekers in camps, saying they were setting up makeshift houses that were an eyesore.
The leader of the protesters, Mario Khumalo, said there are a lot of bad things being done by foreigners in South Africa.
“These foreigners are evil. They are raping our kids. They are killing our kids. They are grabbing our jobs. They don’t respect us. Some of them are border jumpers as they don’t have proper documents. So, we are asking them to leave today. The people that are supposed to come here are those that respect other human beings and not what we are facing right now.”
But Zimbabwean, Carnicious Nkala, who lives in South Africa, dismissed these claims saying there are millions of foreigners staying in different nations.
“There are many people living in various countries and so it’s difficult to get rid of foreigners in any nation.”
Another Zimbabwean, Nkululeko Mathe, said, “Instead of blaming foreigners, these people should question their leaders about the manner they are treating ruling parties in Africa. The South African leaders don’t want to open up on what is happening in Zimbabwe and other countries where citizens of those nations are being terrorized by the ruling elite. So, it’s unfair to say foreigners should leave South Africa.”
The protesters gave the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration Services ten days to respond to their grievances threatening that they will take the law into their hands if they don’t take action.
South Africa has over the years experienced xenophobic attacks, resulting in the death of some locals and foreigners and the looting of shops owned by Ethiopians, Pakistanis, Nigerians and others.
* Benedict Nhlapho contributed to this article