#OperationDudula sees foreign nationals at loggerheads with South Africans in Alex

A number of businesses have been forced to shut their doors as Operation Dudula gains momentum.

 The unrest in Alexandra continues . Twitter: @OperationDudula

The leader of a group of Alexandrians operating under the #AlexOperationFiyela and the Alexandra Dudula Movement has vowed never to rest until the Pan Africa Square is ‘swept skoon’ of all foreign vendors.

The public relations officer of Dudula and secretary of #OperationFiyela, Agnes Malatjie, told Alex News during the start of what she said would  ‘be a daily operation until the Pan is cleaned of all foreign vendors’ that they will follow up this operation with an audit of all the vendors that were granted stalls.

Foreign nationals took to the streets of Alexandra on Monday, March 7 protesting at what they deem is unconstitutional infringement of their rights.

An unconfirmed number of people have been injured since the unrest started, and the operation continues to gain momentum. The movement aims to remove all the foreign nationals who are without the necessary papers and work permits, and prevent them from owning businesses and working in South Africa.

In videos shared on social media, some businesses were forced to close down on Monday. This continued on Tuesday.

“We want to establish who is foreign and who is not, and all those that are foreign – whether legal or illegally in this country – will have to vacate the Pan Africa Square. We want to chase away all foreigners that have occupied the Pan, thereby suppressing the folk from our township of doing business in their own streets,” Malatjie said.

“We are going to conduct a joint operation with the Department of Home Affairs so we can establish the authenticity of the documents some people are carrying and those they used to register with for vending in the streets of our township.”

Agnes Malatjie of the Alexandra Dudula Movement and #OperationFiyela leader Agnes Malatjie speaks in an interview with Alex News. Photo: Zanele Siso/Zanephoto

The movement is calling on the Department of Home Affairs to help them to deal with undocumented foreign nationals.

“We are compiling a database of all South Africans in the township that have business permits and we will offer them that space at Pan to conduct their business. We are going to sweep Pan skoon of all foreigners. We also urge South Africans to hire local people in their businesses as we endeavour to create hope for the future for South African citizens,” Malatjie said.

When asked about their critics who may label them as xenophobic, Malatjie said there was nothing xenophobic about putting South Africans first. “Ask those foreigners whether in their own countries they would put South Africans first and the answer will be an unambiguous no.”

Agnes Malatjie of the Alexandra Dudula Movement and #OperationFiyela leader Agnes Malatjie speaks in an interview with Alex News. Photo: Zanele Siso/Zanephoto

“So why should we put them first when South African are never put first in their own [foreigners] countries. The country is taking so much strain on all fronts and these people [foreigners] are adding salt to injury.

“Most of them are not even paying tax, yet South Africans are heavily taxed in this country. We’re tired of crime, murders, and rapes and our police cannot find these people because they are not documented and have no fingerprints at the Home Affairs database,” Malatjie said.

Read original story on alexnews.co.za