Zwelithini said ‘deport illegal immigrants’ – Nhleko

2015-04-20 11:35

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Police minister Nathi Nhleko yesterday defended King Goodwill Zwelithini, saying that the Zulu monarch’s difficulties had arisen over the fact that there is no proper Zulu equivalent for the word “deportation”.

Nhleko, speaking at the launch of a campaign to combat xenophobia in Durban, reminded journalists that he had been present when Zwelithini had made the alleged controversial comments saying that foreigners needed to go home.

He said that the king had complained in his speech made last month in Pongola about the porousness of the country’s borders and the fact that there were too many illegal immigrants resident in the country.

“What is deportation in isiZulu? Mabahambe [They must go]. Mababuyele ekhaya lababantu [These people must go back home]. That’s what you say [in Zulu]. If you are illegal in the country, you shouldn’t be here. Government follows policy and law and that policy is deportation. I think those were the issues the king was raising in his speech.”

Nhleko said that he was in attendance at the speech and had never had any doubts that the king was urging the government to deport illegal immigrants who had entered the country through its porous borders.

Nhleko said: “That’s my point. My point is simple. You say deportation in English, but if you take that as a direct translation in isiZulu “uthi abahambe [you say they must go home]. It literally translates like that.”

“He was referring to deportation of illegals, because of the way it [the king’s speech] started off, was the question of the porousness of our borders.”

Zwelithini has been in the spotlight over comments he made in Pongola at the end of last month when he allegedly said that foreigners should pack their bags and go home.

The comments were reported to have been behind a number of attacks on foreigners at Durban’s informal settlements. Many were chased out and had their belongings looted.

The attacks have since spread to Gauteng.

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