Crime knows no nationality: 'You must deal with criminals, not Zimbabweans' - Gwede Mantashe

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  • Gwede Mantashe says criminals should not be identified by nationality.
  • He says many Zimbabweans live honest, successful lives in South Africa.
  • People who abide by the law, irrespective of nationality, are safe in the country, says Mantashe.

ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe urged South Africans not to identify criminals by their nationality.

Crime, he says, knows no nationality.

Speaking to News24 in Victoria Falls, Zimbabwe on Saturday, he said: "I always make the point at home and I will make it here: if a national from Zimbabwe commits a crime, he's not a Zimbabwean, he's a criminal. You must deal with criminals, not Zimbabweans, that's my attitude."

On 6 April, a Zimbabwean, Elvis Nyathi, was killed by a mob in Diepsloot, Johannesburg, for not having a passport.

READ | Nhlanhla 'Lux' Dlamini granted R1 500 bail, ordered to surrender passport

It is alleged that those behind his death were members of Operation Dudula, a movement that seeks the expulsion of foreigners in South Africa.

In some cases, locals blame foreigners for criminal conduct in their communities.

However, Mantashe said crime should not be linked to Zimbabwe.

ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe
ANC chairperson Gwede Mantashe

"We have Zimbabweans in all walks of life in South Africa, they are in universities, they are in various institutions, they are CEOs of companies. When people commit crimes in South Africa, they are not Zimbabweans, they are criminals. When South Africans commit crimes in Zimbabwe, they are criminals," he said.

He said problems arise when locals decide to take the law into their own hands.

"If you commit a crime in a community, the anger of the community would be informed by the extent of the crime. Everybody who is doing the right thing in South Africa is safe," he said.

Mantashe was in Zimbabwe, in his capacity as SA's minister in charge of mineral resources, to attend a meeting about the revival of the Pan African Minerals Development Corporation, a mining entity that brings together the governments of SA, Zimbabwe, and Malawi.


The News24 Africa Desk is supported by the Hanns Seidel Foundation. The stories produced through the Africa Desk and the opinions and statements that may be contained herein do not reflect those of the Hanns Seidel Foundation.

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