Mashaba: Stop using me as scapegoat to target foreigners

The Johannesburg mayor has come under fire after saying illegal immigrants are linked to criminal activities in the city.

FILE: Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba. Picture: Reinart Toerien/EWN.

JOHANNESBURG -Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba says not all foreigners are criminals and the public must stop using him as a scapegoat to target them.

Mashaba came under fire after saying that illegal immigrants are linked to criminal activities in the city.

Anti-xenophobia groups have also blamed him for the recent attacks on foreign-owned properties.

Several spaza shops and houses have been looted and torched in Rosettenville and Pretoria West by locals who claim they're used as brothels and drug dens.

LISTEN: Rosettenville: police accused of 'protecting' drug dealers

Mashaba says he doesn't understand why he's being blamed for the violence aimed at foreign nationals when he has only called for the law to take its course.

“When young girls are turned into prostitutes and our houses are hijacked then our people don’t have rights. I find it completely unfortunate and unacceptable.”

Mashaba says the matter now needs to be addressed on a national level.

'STEREOTYPICAL VIEWS'

The Nigerian Union of South Africa has condemned what it says are stereotypical views which claim its nationals are responsible for crime.

At the same time, an anonymous voice recording is doing the rounds on social media, warning foreigners of an attack on Friday.

'FIGHT BACK'

The speaker also urges foreign nationals to fight back.

“This is an important message that we want to spread across the African continent. We want you to share this message until it reaches everyone in Africa. Since 2008, foreigners in South Africa have faced attacks by the so-called jealous monsters among South Africans. According to Wikipedia, between 2000-2008 xenophobic attacks left a total of 129 foreigners dead in which 67 people were killed in 2008.

"They forget every foreign national has families back home. If they will never stop their evil acts of killing foreigners in their country, we are saying to all our families at home to start burning South African businesses in our foreign countries. We will give them war and give them hell. We will push them to the underground if any xenophobic attack happens again, we call on all foreigners to rage a war on these people. Let us give them a taste of their own medicine."

The speaker added: "They have announced Friday 24 February is the day they want to carry out another attack. We are saying to everyone, please do not be afraid and rather be prepared."

(Edited by Shimoney Regter)