Supporters of the Kopanang Africa Against Xenophobia movement have condemned the government’s and law enforcement’s failure to stem the tide of anti-foreigner sentiment.
Union federation Saftu, the United Front, the Treatment Action Campaign, and the Foundation for Human Rights marched from Peter Ross Park in Parktown via Braamfontein to the Johannesburg Central police station on Saturday.
In a statement read from the memorandum, Kopanang spokesperson Janet Munakamwe said the government needed to act quickly to put an end to Operation Dudula’s actions, which were intended at evicting alleged undocumented immigrants from townships and informal trading areas.
“We call on the South African government, the police service, and the police to show leadership by taking immediate action against those who fuel violence and xenophobic acts, including taking immediate measures to address the unlawful acts and hate speech that Operation Dudula is addressing,” Munakamwe said.
Initially, Operation Dudula threatened to hold their own march along the same route, which was interpreted as an attempt to derail the anti-xenophobia campaign.
Trevor Ngwane, the chairperson of the Johannesburg United Front, said SA needed to send a clear statement that it was against the Dudula groupings’ rising intolerance of foreign nationals, and he urged on the police to guarantee that they were not permitted to continue their operations.
“We want SA to know that we are against xenophobia.” The imperialist uses xenophobia to divide and rule. “Remember, comrades, that the only way we achieved our independence was through maximum unity,” Ngwane added.
While many South Africans remained impoverished, he stated they needed to collaborate with foreign nationals in their battle for a better life rather than battling them, describing the anti-immigrant campaign as “bourgeoisie efforts to split us.”
“Many of us are still hungry and without a place to live.” It implies that our revolution is not yet complete. Xenophobic people are sabotaging our movement. Let us move forward with our Mozambican, Malawian, Zimbabwean, Namibian, Somalian, Ethiopian, Ghanaian, Pakistani, and Bangladeshi brothers and sisters. Ngwane stated, “We believe in international working-class solidarity.”
Kopanang had planned to have their march on Human Rights Day, March 21, but the Joburg Metro Police Department refused to provide a permit, forcing the movement to go to court on Thursday in an attempt to overturn the decision, opening the way for the march.