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Gayton McKenzie takes his anti-immigrants vigilantism to the Limpopo River in Beitbridge

by Staff reporter
06 Jan 2024 at 09:31hrs | Views
Recklessly xenophobic South African opposition Patriotic Alliance (PA) leader Gayton McKenzie and members of his right-wing party took their anti-immigrants vigilantism to the Limpopo River in Beitbridge bordering South Africa and Zimbabwe in a bid to prevent undocumented people from crossing down south during the festive season.

McKenzie, who is intensely anti-immigrants and whose party is built around hatred of foreigners, camped at the river, trying to chase back illegal immigrants away from the border.

In a xenophobic and shallow charade, which does not deal with the root causes but mere symptoms of the problem, McKenzie and his followers took matters into their own hands to block foreigners, shouting "Abahambe" (Nguni languages for they must go).

He claimed they sent back hundreds of foreign nationals who were trying to cross a river from Zimbabwe into South Africa near the Beitbridge/Musina border post this week.

McKenzie and his deputy Kenny Kunene posted a number of videos on social media displaying their illegal activities.

"Abahambe [They must go]," McKenzie told eNCA on Thursday at the river banks near Musina, the South African border town across Beitbridge, where the vigilante operation was being held.  

The xenophobic leader claimed that his party's members have intercepted close to 1 000 Zimbabweans crossing the river into South Africa.

"The bad news is that we do not have a border. We are already in a borderless South Africa. The Patriotic Alliance members have been camping here, making sure they do not return from Zimbabwe," McKenzie said.

Zimbabweans have always crossed into South Africa for ages for different reasons across generations, but the situation has been exacerbated by deep economic and social problems, especially after 2000.

Zimbabwe's economy has virtually collapsed after extended years of leadership, governance and policy failures, first under the late former president Robert Mugabe and now his successor President Emmerson Mnangagwa.

This has sent millions fleeing across borders, mainly into South Africa and overseas.

In one of the videos shared, McKenzie and his crew are seen mindlessly rushing down the river banks to confront scores of people milling across the river, some carrying small boats on their heads which they use to cross the crocodile-infested river illegally.

"This is a mafia syndicate consisting of the police, the SANDF, local farmers and traffic officials We have been here for days. Where is the police? Where [are] the traffic officials? Where is the SANDF?," McKenzie said.

"One farmer insisted on taking us to court, I said I see he is taking water from the river and asked him to show his water use licence. He disappeared."

In a post on X, McKenzie said an illegal foreigner can come into South Africa, kill someone and casually stroll back to Zimbabwe.

He vowed to continue with his xenophobic vigilantism in a bid to stop a problem which is far more complex than he seems to appreciate.

Source - TheNewsHawks