Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba last week said illegal foreign nationals living in Johannesburg must be treated as criminals since they came to South Africa illegally.
“The Home Affairs Department says there can be no justification for statements made by Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba on illegal foreign nationals living in the city.” reports EWN.
The report goes on to explain that, “while the department has noted challenges facing the city, this cannot be a reason for the generalisations made by Mashaba.”
Mashaba made the comments last week while delivering his 100 days in office address and ordered illegal immigrants to leave Johannesburg.
“While we note those challenges, we can never say it’s justified for a person to make sweeping generalisations about criminality or even about the integrity of a certain people based on how or the type of movement they used coming into the country.” explains the department’s Mayihlome Tshwete.
Mashaba (in his address) went as far as to say, “They’re holding our country to ransom and I’m going to be the last South African to allow it. I’ve got constraints as local government, because the national government has opened our borders to criminality.”
“Every embassy that I’ve engaged with and shared with my plans, everybody agrees.” Said Mashaba.
Malusi Gigaba’s office yesterday spoke out against the Johannesburg Mayor for the comments in a statement saying;
“Minister Gigaba views the comments as unfortunate, and will brief the mayor on government’s policy and interventions in relation to the management of international migration.
The minister has repeatedly called on all leaders irrespective of their political allegiance to desist from making statements that could influence the public to adopt xenophobic attitudes.
All of us have the responsibility to act in a manner that does not incite any hatred towards other fellow human beings irrespective of where they come from.
I will seek a meeting with the mayor precisely to brief him on a number of interventions that government has implemented in this regard.”