Controversial South African opposition politician, Julius Malema, has strongly spoken against calls by some political parties, supporters and civil society organisations pushing for the removal of foreigners from South Africa.
The Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) party leader said he would rather lose votes in the 2024 elections than allow millions of Zimbabweans, Nigerians and other nations to return home. In a tweet, Malema said:
Someone said to me ‘if you want us to vote for you in 2024 you must abandon this thing of foreigners’. I’m prepared to go home. I’m fine.
I will never take a platform and denounce Africans. I will never do it. If it means votes are doing, let them go.
I’m prepared to go home. But to take a platform and please the white minority by pointing a finger at other fellow black brothers, I’m not going to do that.
When I see a Nigerian or a Zimbabwean or a Congolese or Ghanaian, I see myself.
The EFF can do internal research to see how much this thing is hurting the EFF, but I am not prepared to take a platform to say ‘foreigners must go home’. I would rather not be the president of South Africa.
I will be the president of my children at home. We will practice Cabinet issues there. I don’ want to.
You mean I should go and tell these hungry Zimbabweans to leave and when I tell them to leave, I send them where.
The issue of foreign nationals living in South Africa, especially those who are undocumented, continues to be a heated debate in southern Africa’s largest economy.
With political parties racing to form coalitions for 66 hung municipalities, two key king markers – Action SA led by former Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba and the Patriotic Alliance led by Gayton McKenzie – have made it clear that no illegal foreigners will be allowed to live in their municipalities.