The leader of the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema, has called upon Dr. Mgcini Tshwaku, the MMC for Public Safety in Johannesburg, to address a situation involving foreign nationals who seem to be challenging South African immigration and police officers in Fordsburg.
A video capturing this confrontation has caused quite a stir on social media, raising concerns among many. Malema, in response to the video, urged Dr. Tshwaku to take action, saying, “Deal with this issue; it needs attention.” The video shows alleged foreign nationals posing as asylum seekers and asserting control over their business area, even daring the South African law enforcement to step in, even if it means going to jail. Dr. Tshwaku subsequently paid a visit to a cellphone repair shop in Fordsburg, where Pakistani nationals were seen in the video challenging South African law enforcement officials.
The integration of foreign nationals with South African communities, rather than placing them in refugee camps, has been a matter of dispute. There have also been concerns about illegal mining activities and turf wars, carried out by foreign nationals known as “zama zamas,” causing difficulties for communities living near abandoned mines. Turf battles among foreign-owned spaza shops have added to the tensions. Many South Africans feel they are facing tough living conditions but are often hesitant to express their concerns, as any criticism is frequently labeled as “xenophobic” by politicians and the media.