'We are fearful that he was granted bail' - foreign nationals concerned that Nhlanhla Lux set free

play article
Subscribers can listen to this article
Nhlanhla Lux Dlamini, president of the Pimville Parliament movement, mobilized his community to look after the Maponya Mall in Soweto and protect it from looters.
Nhlanhla Lux Dlamini, president of the Pimville Parliament movement, mobilized his community to look after the Maponya Mall in Soweto and protect it from looters.
Photo: Elizabeth Sejake
  • The Africa Solidarity Network says it is concerned that bail granted to Nhlanhla "Lux" Dlamini could embolden looters.
  • While eThekwini Metro denied permission for an Operation Dudula march in Durban on Sunday, one foreign national shop owner's store was looted in KwaDabeka.
  • The Africa Solidarity Network says that most foreign nationals are legally in the country and that Operation Dudula was xenophobic.

Foreign nationals in Durban are living in fear after a shop owner's property was allegedly looted despite police and eThekwini Metro halting the Operation Dudula campaign.

Daniel Dunia, a leader in the Africa Solidarity Network - a lobby group that represents African foreign nationals in South Africa - described the operation as xenophobic and an act of criminality that drew little condemnation from government.

He said they were afraid for their lives now that Nhlanhla "Lux" Dlamini, the leader of Operation Dudula, was granted bail. 

Police spokesperson, Lieutenant-Colonel Nqobile Gwala, confirmed the KwaDabeka incident.

"It is alleged that a group of vagrants entered two tuck shops in KwaDabeka yesterday and stole some items. The complainants did not desire the opening of cases."

Dunia told News24 that foreign nationals were "living in fear".

"The fact that they planned to launch it in Durban and remove foreigners and the City denied them access to march, but they still went to KwaDabeka and looted shops owned by an Ethiopian is scary."

He said they were also unhappy at the fact that Dlamini was granted bail. He said this would raise the risk factor for foreign nationals.  

Dlamini is facing charges of housebreaking, theft and malicious damage to property. He was granted bail of R1 500.

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

Operation Dudula, which started in Johannesburg, forcibly closed shops that belonged to foreign nationals in townships and town centres.

Dlamini rose to prominence during the July unrest when he protected Maponya Mall in Soweto from looters.

Dunia said they were afraid that Dlamini's release would embolden locals to attack foreign nationals.

He said:

We are living in fear, the fact that he is given bail is going to intensify the campaign. We live in fear, we don't have much protection. Anything can happen from now, we are gravely concerned.

He said they engaged different spheres of government, including eThekwini Metro and the KZN government. He said while neither officially supported Operation Dudula, there still needed to be proper condemnation from leaders.

"To the people, is not clear if the government is supporting Operation Dudula."

Crime does not have a nationality

Dunia said the campaign was nothing less than an act of criminality.

"Crime does not have a nationality. A criminal is a criminal whether he is from SA or anywhere else. People associating crime with a nationality is wrong. We cannot generalise and say something so inflammatory. The law must deal with criminals as such. The law is the law."

ALSO READ | Heavy police presence ahead of Nhlanhla 'Lux' Dlamini's court appearance

He said the majority of foreign nationals were in the country legally.

"Most are refugees and asylum seekers. Because SA does not have refugee camps, these people have to be in the community and work for a living. They have to operate their businesses.

"There is no camp for refugees. The only way to survive is to open a business and work, unless there is a camp and government can provide for them. But refugees need to work and have to survive. Linking them to criminality is wrong and untrue."

We want to hear your views on the news. Subscribe to News24 to be part of the conversation in the comments section of this article.
We live in a world where facts and fiction get blurred
In times of uncertainty you need journalism you can trust. For 14 free days, you can have access to a world of in-depth analyses, investigative journalism, top opinions and a range of features. Journalism strengthens democracy. Invest in the future today. Thereafter you will be billed R75 per month. You can cancel anytime and if you cancel within 14 days you won't be billed. 
Subscribe to News24
Voting Booth
Eskom has considered continuous load shedding at Stage 2, instead of introducing it when the power system faces a crunch. What are your thoughts?
Please select an option Oops! Something went wrong, please try again later.
I'm all for it - we're going to have power cuts regardless, so we might as well have some stability to better plan our lives
45% - 4392 votes
No thanks! I prefer having periods of no load shedding and we cannot normalise this crisis
55% - 5316 votes
Rand - Dollar
Rand - Pound
Rand - Euro
Rand - Aus dollar
Rand - Yen
Brent Crude
Top 40
All Share
Resource 10
Industrial 25
Financial 15
All JSE data delayed by at least 15 minutes Iress logo
Editorial feedback and complaints

Contact the public editor with feedback for our journalists, complaints, queries or suggestions about articles on News24.