Anti-xenophobia group is challenging the JMPD's prohibition on march

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JMPD officers on duty.
JMPD officers on duty.
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  • An anti-xenophobia group is challenging the JMPD's decision to not permit the movement to march today.
  • Two of the anti-xenophobia marches were permitted in Free-State and Cape-Town.
  • The ban was based on two factors; one which included possible violence.  

The Johannesburg Metropolitan Policing Department (JMPD) has denied an application for a march by an anti-xenophobic movement that has been formed to stop the increasing attacks on foreign nationals.

The Kopanang Africa's Anti-Xenophobia (KAAX) is a movement by anti-xenophobia activists that was refused permission to march on Monday in Johannesburg.

Two of KAAX's movements in the Free-State and Cape-Town were permitted to go ahead with the march.

Daniel McKinley who is the KAAX's movements leader told news24 that they were disappointed that they were not able to go ahead with the march and have filed an urgent application to overturn the JMPD's decision.

"We have filed an urgent application for a hearing to overturn the prohibition, we will be going to court tomorrow," McKinley said.

JMPD spokesperson Xolani Fihla confirmed that the march was not authorised by law enforcement based on two factors concerning the threat of a violent situation, and the failure of KAAX in retracting the march poster doing the rounds on social media.

"We have seen other groups saying that they'll also conduct a march opposing the proposed march. For Law Enforcement to avert the serious threat and possible violent situation, the march was not authorised," Fihla said.

The marches against the attack and intimidation of illegal immigrants have been linked to Operation Dudula, which McKinley alleged is advocating hatred and division in society.

READ | Makhura, Phalatse fear Dudula clashes may stoke vigilantism, while Mashaba says 'blame ANC, not foreigners

"We don't see any role that Dudula is playing in our society, It is only essentially to fan the flames of division and hatred for immigrants, which is vigilantism,"  McKinley said.

He further emphasised that the issues that Dudula is addressing should not be addressed by individuals, the country has a dysfunctional immigration system which is to blame.

"If people are serious about dealing with some of the crises... involving immigrants in our society, they must not attack or victimise immigrants themselves who are trying to make a living or trying to escape prosecution, instead they should look at the government's failure [to instigate] a proper immigration system." McKinley added.

The Kopanang group plans to go ahead with the march on the 26 March 2022, after the court outcome that will be heard on 22 March 2022.

"South Africa is a democratic country, so they are free to take it up with any court of law," Fihla said.

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