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Mashaba blames Home Affairs for Joburg CBD chaos

Angry traders pelted stones at police vehicles this week after their products were seized by police.

FILE: City of Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba during a media briefing on 9 April 2019. Picture: Abigail Javier/EWN

JOHANNESBURG - Joburg Mayor Herman Mashaba has blamed the Department of Home Affairs for the protest by traders in the inner city, which resulted in a standoff with police on Thursday.

Mashaba visited the CBD on Friday to address foreign shop owners and street vendors whose goods were confiscated by police during a raid.

Angry traders pelted stones at police vehicles after their products were seized by police.

Mashaba said he would ensure that the Department of Home Affairs took responsibility for what happened.

“Unfortunately, we are being let down very badly by home affairs who are creating this mess,” he said.

“I’m going to hold home affairs accountable to make sure that everyone who is in this country has got the [right] documentation, that we are unapologetic about… they are the ones who created this mess. If our borders were closed, we would not be sitting with this chaos.”

WATCH: Joburg Vendors: We're being terrorised

Meanwhile, government said it viewed the violence as an attack on the state and abuse of democratic rights.

The justice, crime prevention, and security cluster said in a statement on Friday every citizen and foreign national should be aware that government would not tolerate lawlessness.

“An attack on law enforcement agencies is an attack on the state, and the government views this in the most serious light. Blatant disregard for our law threatens national security and the sovereignty of our nation.

“Every citizen and foreign national must be aware that the government will not tolerate lawlessness, criminality and illegal violent protests. South Africa is governed by the rule of law and the government views such criminal activities as an attack on the state and abuse of democratic rights.”

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