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Operation Dudula: New Anti-Immigrant in South Africa

Operation Dudula meaning “Push Back” in English has given a new level of organization to xenophobic violence that has wracked South Africa for years. It was started by Nhlanhla “Lux” Mohlaudi.

According to the founder Nhlanhla Lux, Operation Dudula has its roots in citizens’ frustrations at a lack of decisive government action to eradicate criminal elements within communities. Consisting mainly of residents from Soweto, Operation Dudula blames undocumented immigrants for the rising levels of crime, prostitution, and drug dealings in the townships and the inner city of Johannesburg.

Political leaders slashed Operation Dudula, including the president of South Africa, Cyril Ramaphosa. He described Operation Dudula as a vigilante-like force in his speech at the ANC Mpumalanga conference.

“We cannot support a vigilante-type-of move against a group of people and particularly targeting them as foreign nationals because what we are doing then is just to divide our people on the African continent,” Ramaphosa said.

Lux insists this is not the case due to the movement working closely with the police force in dealing with identified problems.

Leader of ActionSA party, Herman Mashaba argued that movements like Operation Dudula are misdirecting their efforts by targeting illegal immigrants, as the real source of South Africa’s problems is the ANC government’s inability to institute proper governance and address corruption and incompetence in public service.

According to Zandile Dubula, Operation Dudula’s secretary, the movement will no longer target illegal immigrants only but those documented migrants doing menial jobs in South Africa.

“Dudula is against illegal immigrants, but now we have learned that the ministers have said that the local businesses are only for South Africans. But many South Africans don’t even occupy local businesses,” Said Dubula. Dubula denied that the movement was xenophobic. She said that it was merely forcing the government to apply the immigration laws. She also denied that the movement only targets African immigrants. She exclaimed, “we are also targeting Chinese as well and we are not targeting a specific race.”.

In Cape Town, a memorandum was addressed to the department of Home Affairs by the movement. They demanded that Section 41 of the immigration Act be enforced, quote “on every foreigner roaming the streets of Cape Town and surroundings”.

The group wants the government to scan and verify all migrants’ documents and wants those in the country without the necessary documents to be deported.

“Today we came here in Cape Town to say Home Affairs must do their job because anyone who enters our country illegally must be arrested. Another thing, we came here to tell police that they must be visible in all our townships here in Cape Town, especially Khayelitsha, the Cape Flats or Gugulethu. They must be visible”, said Operation Dudula’s Regional Secretary, Patric Mokgalusi

Mokgalusi said Operation Dudula’s modus operandi is simple. They see themselves as a pressure group that seeks to ensure that the government enforces its own laws.

One SA leader Mmusi Maimane has slammed Operation Dudula leader Nhlanhla “Lux” Dlamini, saying his operation is a “dangerous distraction that solves nothing”.

“Operation Dudula is hating on fellow Africans, and I have a problem with that,” said Maimane

Foreign nationals who are living in South Africa they say they are ready to war against Operation Dudula. They refuse to be bullied by the people who can’t hold their government responsible for corruption and failure to deliver services.


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