Operation Dudula is no longer targeting illegal immigrants only.
Documented migrants doing menial jobs in SA will not be spared. The movement’s national secretary, Zandile Dubula, revealed this during the launch of its Western Cape branch in Cape Town on Saturday.
“Dudula is against illegal immigrants,” said Dubula.
“But now we have learnt that the ministers have said that the local businesses are only for South Africans. The other thing is that even if you are legal in the country, if [you do not have] a scarce skill then you cannot be working. Now, it is illegal and legal immigrants. If you are legal here, you are not supposed to be working in a restaurant. Working in a restaurant doesn’t require any special skill.”
Dubula said the movement had a lot of support in the province.
“To be honest with you, I think SA, as a whole, is gatvol of these foreign nationals’ issues. I know in the coloured locations, they have sent requests that they want Operation Dudula to come through because they are also sick and tired,” said Dubula.
“There are few white business owners here in the Cape Town CBD that are requesting that Operation Dudula must come because these foreign nationals have taken over their businesses.”
Dubula said she hoped that the movement, as it grows, will rid the province of deadly extortion rackets that are demanding protection fees from foreign nationals running businesses in townships.
“We are in the CBD because we are trying to cover other locations as well. The Western Cape is going to give birth to other branches. They will be giving birth to Khayelitsha, they will be giving birth to Gugulethu because it is where most of these activities are happening.”
Dubula denied that the movement was xenophobic. She said it was merely forcing the government to apply the immigration laws.
“If you follow Operation Dudula you will notice that we have never attacked anyone. We are attacking our government,” she said.
“We want to deal with our government to implement these laws. [This] will not turn into violence. [The ball] is now in the hands of the government. If they [government] co-operate, there won’t be any violence. We are trying to contain peace here in SA. But where people are doing it on their own, that is where you find violence. We are launching all over SA, closing all corners of SA. Something will happen one day.”
She also denied that the movement only targeted African immigrants.
“We are also targeting Chinese as well. We are not targeting a specific race,” she said.
Reagan Allen, the provincial MEC for community safety & police oversight, noted the Operation Dudula's launch in the province.
“There have been many reports about how this organisation functions. We firmly believe that, as with all entities and organisations, it is important that it functions within the ambit of the law,” said Allen.
“It’s vital to have a vibrant society that participates in our democratic processes, but the law should always be upheld, and if any organisation fails to work within the ambit of the law, decisive action will be taken.”