Operation Dudula brings its campaign against foreign nationals to Cape Town

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Just over a hundred protestors marched through the (CBD) Central Business District of Cape Town at the launch of the Western Cape branch of  Operation Dudula on May 14, 2022 in Cape Town. (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)
Just over a hundred protestors marched through the (CBD) Central Business District of Cape Town at the launch of the Western Cape branch of Operation Dudula on May 14, 2022 in Cape Town. (Photo by Gallo Images/Brenton Geach)
  • Operation Dudula and like-minded organisations marched through Cape Town to expand its network. 
  • The organisations claim jobs are being "taken" by undocumented foreign nationals, to the detriment of locals. 
  • They fashion themselves as crime fighters, ferreting out criminals' hideouts for the police. 

Operation Dudula made its way through the Cape Town CBD, along with associated organisations, to extend its campaign against foreign nationals.

They claim foreigners are taking jobs from South Africans and contributing to crime in the Western Cape.

A memorandum, which was carried during the small march, called on the Department of Home Affairs to crack down on foreign nationals who don't have the documentation which permits them to stay in the country.  

Carrying the banners of Operation Dudula, the All Truck Drivers Forum, which advocates for all truck drivers operating in the country to be South African, and the advocacy group, Put South Africans First, the organisations claimed South Africans were being done out of jobs, particularly in the service industries, in favour of foreign nationals. 

One of Operation Dudula's founders, Nhlanhla Lux, was praised for galvanising the community to protect the Maponya Mall in Soweto during last July's chaotic looting in parts of KwaZulu-Natal and Gauteng. 

Shortly afterwards, he announced that any new businesses would first have to go through his organisation to ensure that South African shops and spaza shops were opened in Soweto. 

The glory of protecting businesses during raids quickly shifted to concern over Operation Dudula's focus on foreign nationals and the potential for xenophobia that this held. 

The deputy chairperson of Operation Dudula, Dan Radebe, said during an interview with eNCA that they were also encouraging their members to register as police reservists, to help prevent crime. 

READ | Operation Dudula in Durban to target businesses that hire foreigners

One of the organisation's gripes is that undocumented foreign nationals accused of crime become difficult to pin down because they are not registered on any databases in South Africa. 

The DA's Western Cape member of the provincial legislature, Ricardo McKenzie, said the organisation was part of a "concerning trend of xenophobia and Afrophobia that is spreading across South Africa", and he rejected the sentiments of the march. 

McKenzie said:

We call on all residents of the Western Cape to stand against the hatred, intolerance and vigilantism that xenophobic organisations and politicians use for cheap politicking and short-term gain.

"Our country is faced with immense turmoil: unemployment is on the rise, corruption is rife, law enforcement is mismanaged and basic service delivery is in tatters due to the inability of the national government to fulfil its mandates.

"The blame for these challenges should not be placed on the shoulders of immigrants, who come to the Western Cape to seek a better life for themselves. Foreign nationals are not the problem, the ANC is."


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