ActionSA, EFF square off over immigration

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Herman Mashaba. Picture: Rosetta Msimango / City Press
Herman Mashaba. Picture: Rosetta Msimango / City Press
  • ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba complained that EFF leader Julius Malema breached his oath of office as MP.
  • This after Malema seemingly encouraged people from neighbouring countries to enter South Africa illegally.
  • EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu responded on Twitter, giving Mashaba his "1st warning".

Herman Mashaba's ActionSA squared off with the EFF over its leader Julius Malema's remarks seemingly encouraging undocumented migrants to enter the country.

On Monday, Mashaba announced in a statement that he wrote to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise, stating Malema was in breach of his oath of office.

This after Malema criticised the government's border closures at a press conference last week and encouraged Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) citizens to "find a creative way" to enter South Africa.

Mashaba, while the DA's mayor of Johannesburg, often courted controversy and accusations of xenophobia with his hardline stance on immigration. This issue also appears to be a central policy issue for his fledgling ActionSA.

ALSO READ | Julius Malema's firearm discharge case postponed in East London court

Conversely, in line with its pan-Africanist philosophy, the EFF has consistently decried violence against African immigrants.

Mashaba said ActionSA's legal team had compiled a complaint that details how Malema, in making his remarks, was in breach of his oath of office as an MP and the Code of Conduct, Ethics and Members' Interests.

"As a Member of Parliament, Malema is given the responsibility to make or amend laws, but no MP has the right to openly advocate for these same laws to be broken," read Mashaba's statement.  

"When one considers that this public call for illegal immigration comes at a time of a global pandemic, where a second wave of infections has overwhelmed our hospitals, his remarks warrant the strongest actions of Parliament.

"We are a country and countries have borders at which they exercise their sovereign right to determine who may and who may not enter. We need MPs, from all political parties, to fight for South Africans at a time when our government is failing to serve its citizens."

The matter descended to social network Twitter, where Malema's lieutenant, EFF deputy leader Floyd Shivambu, laid down the gauntlet to Mashaba.

"Don't adopt this kind of liberal right wing politics @HermanMashaba. Your political life will be very difficult & your party lifespan short lived if you adopt the ultra right self hating politics. Stay away from the EFF, many who tried are nowhere to be seen now. 1st warning!" tweeted Shivambu.

Mashaba retorted he did not respond well to bullies.

"Calling for illegal immigration is wrong. Calling for illegal immigration during a pandemic, with South African hospitals overflowing, is disgusting," he tweeted.

Shivambu responded: "It's so shocking how toddler politicians whose claim to fane [sic] are EFF policies of in-sourcing and many others have now grown liberal horns. You won't win against the EFF. Choose your battles wisely!

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