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Apleni: Mashaba's comments promote xenophobia

Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has on numerous occasions claimed that people living in hijacked buildings across the city are mostly foreigners.

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

JOHANNESBURG – Home Affairs Director General Mkuseli Apleni has urged Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba to refrain from making discriminatory comments about foreign nationals, saying that even those who are here illegally are protected by the Constitution.

Mashaba has on numerous occasions claimed that people living in hijacked buildings across the city are mostly foreigners.

The city has been sending the Red Ants to evict residents many were arrested for allegedly not having any documentation.

Earlier this week, the mayor said his budget can only accommodate South Africans.

Apleni says Mashaba’s comments cannot be promoted.

“Statements like that promote these issues of xenophobia because we make statements like that trying to differentiate people.

“Then even a person who’s illegal has got rights, protected under the Constitution of this country.”

ARREST OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS

Apleni also says it’s not true that the department has asked the City of Johannesburg not to arrest any more illegal immigrants due to overcrowding in prisons.

Mashaba has on numerous occasions claimed that the people living in these buildings are mostly foreigners.

Many were arrested for allegedly not having any documentation.

Apleni says it would not make sense for his department to make such a plea because it’s solely mandated with ensuring that people are in the country legally.

“How can we promote illegality because if as the department we can say somebody has broken the law, and because they have broken the law, therefore, don’t arrest because there’s no space. It can’t be possible.”

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