Agence France-Presse, April 11, 2022
President Cyril Ramaphosa on Monday blasted vigilante groups for harassing migrants in South Africa, likening their behaviour to strategies adopted by the apartheid regime to target blacks.
Scores of people have been staging demonstrations in recent months against the proliferation of undocumented migrants in the country.
Last week a Zimbabwean man was killed and burnt in an apparent mob attack in the northern Johannesburg township of Diepsloot.
A small group of vigilantes had gone door-to-door demanding to see people’s identity documents after seven people in the township had been murdered the previous weekend. Angry residents complained that police were not doing enough to stem crime.
“We have seen people being stopped on the street by private citizens and being forced to produce identification to verify their immigration status,” Ramaphosa said in his weekly newsletter.
“This was how the apartheid oppressors operated.”
“Attacking those we suspect of wrongdoing merely because they are a foreign national is… immoral, racist and criminal. In the end, it will lead to xenophobia,” he said.