Mass arrest of foreigners in South Africa
In the targeted search operation carried out in the main city, Johannesburg, police also confiscated firearms and a "large consignment" of counterfeit goods in various buildings.
David Makhura, premier of the Gauteng province which surrounds Johannesburg, tweeted that the operation is a part of a clean-up operation:
We are cleaning up our CBD. We will not rest until we take our City back. We are sending a very strong message to all those who think they can occupy our buildings illegally #OkaeMolao pic.twitter.com/rePCjjPJ7z— David Makhura (@David_Makhura) August 7, 2019
He said the authorities were happy with the number of suspects arrested, according to South African newspaper the Citizen.
"The main issue have [sic] been with people who are driving taxis without licences and these taxis are not supposed to be on our roads," the paper quotes the premier as saying.
The operation, known as O Kae Molao, is trending on social media, where some people raised concerns that it might encourage xenophobia:
Quick question was Home Affairs present to verify that every black person who lives in Joburg CBC is a foreigner? This assumption that every black person in the CBD is an illegal foreigner is irresponsible!— Mpiwa (@mpiwajs) August 3, 2019
Does it matter if violence is caused by locals or foreigners? Crime is crime deal with the criminals but do not steer xenophobia!— Dr J. Tsedudzayi (@tsedudzayi) August 1, 2019
How did you come to this conclusion that it's only foreign nationals who took part in this? 🤔— Baba KaThando✌️🙏♥️✊ (@IAM_A_FREE_MAN) August 1, 2019