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SAHRC: Anti-immigrant march undermines social cohesion efforts

Today a group calling itself the ‘Mamelodi Concerned Residents’ is planning to march to the Home Affairs Department.

FILE: Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba engaged residents of Rosettenville about the crime and challenges in the area but residents say they have had enough of foreigners running brothels and selling drugs. Picture: Kgothatso Mogale/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - The South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) says today’s planned anti-immigrant march in Pretoria sends a divisive message to society and undermines the ongoing efforts to build a socially cohesive and inclusive South Africa.

In recent weeks, angry residents in Rosettenville, Pretoria West, Mamelodi and Atteridgeville looted dozens of foreign-owned shops and properties.

Earlier this month, locals in Rosettenville, in southern Johannesburg, torched 12 houses believed to be drug dens and brothels.

A group calling itself the ‘Mamelodi Concerned Residents’ is planning to march to the Home Affairs Department to protest against illegal immigrants in the country.

On Thursday, Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba confirmed the march would be going ahead in the city centre.

The SAHRC’s Gushwell Brooks says, “Unfortunately the social cohesion that is needed to be created, as well as the many dispelling of the myths that we have created around foreign nationals have not been dispelled and I also think that community leaders have a responsibility to bear when it comes to what they say.”

(Edited by Neo Koza)