Following anti-immigrant sentiments and threats associated with the Operation Dudula movement, Nigeria’s High Commission has warned Nigerians living in South Africa to be “vigilant and exercise caution.”
SurgeZirc SA received an advisory alerting Nigerian nationals to actions planned against immigrants on Friday, September 2.
“This is to advise Nigerians living in South Africa to be vigilant and exercise caution in their activities due to the recent utterances of the proponents of the Operation Dudula and their threats to attack foreign nationals in this country,” the advisory said.
“The group, through public notice and video clips circulated on the social media has informed of plans to march against foreign migrants in South Africa starting from 2nd of September 2022 and specifically on foreign business owners, shops and undocumented foreign nationals.
“Nigerian residents in South Africa are hereby advised to exercise caution and be watchful carrying out their day-to-day activities,” the advisory, signed by an official from the Consular Section of the High Commission in Pretoria, concluded.
Earlier this week, there were violent clashes outside Pretoria’s Kalafong Provincial Tertiary Hospital, where members of Operation Dudula were vetting patients and staff and turning away foreign nationals. When the Economic Freedom Fighters went to the hospital to counter the activities of Operation Dudula, the situation deteriorated.
Operation Dudula is said to have sparked similar “protests” at various Gauteng health facilities.
Lieutenant-General Elias Mawela, the Gauteng police commissioner, has warned that the province’s frequent protests against illegal foreigners are diverting the SAPS’s mission to combat serious crime.
Mawela expressed these sentiments while tabling the province’s crime statistics for the period April to June this year before the Gauteng Legislature’s portfolio committee on community safety at Etwatwa, Daveyton.
The commissioner’s concern came as members of Operation Dudula visited health facilities such as Kalafong Hospital and Hillbrow Community Health Centre in Joburg, demanding that foreigners be denied medical attention.
The activities of Operation Dudula also came after Gayton McKenzie, leader of the Patriotic Alliance (PA), vowed to deprive an illegal immigrant of oxygen in order to save the life of a South African citizen.
While all of this was going on, Mawela warned that their actions, whether violent or not, were eating into the police budget because they had to prevent attacks on people who were perceived to be illegal immigrants.
“The ever-rising anti-foreigner sentiments remain a high security threat to the domestic stability in the province. This threat requires focused and aggressive social cohesion programmes to mitigate it.
“Lastly, social ills such as substance abuse, moral degeneration and socio-economic factors continue to be the underlying causative factors to the contact crimes,” Mawela said.