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Could Operation Dudula Be a Continuation of The July Riots?

Mar 01, 2022

By Umamah Bakharia

If the July riots were indeed a failed insurrection, what’s to say the insurrectionists didn’t return to the drawing board and decide on a more specific and vulnerable scapegoat for South Africa’s frustrations, that is, foreign nationals?  This is the question being asked by political commentator Siya Khumalo.

In his latest column for News24, he writes that in what looks like a redo of the July insurrection, protesters are punishing immigrants for the negligence of ministries like Police, Home Affairs and Employment and Labour.

Khumalo speaks to Radio Islam on what his predictions are regarding operation Dudula.

“A lot of the country’s trouble comes from the ruling party and I think what is happening with a lot of the anti-foreign protests is that we are blaming foreign nationals for our government’s mistakes and crimes,” says Khumalo.

He makes reference to the Zondo commission report that indicates that State Capture occurred when government workers did business with a foreign family, the Guptas.

“[Goverment] is using legislation and I think they are political actors who are using campaigns like ‘Operation Dudula’ & ‘Put South Africans First’ to make the problem seem like its foreign nationals when really everyone in South Africa has at some point tried to cut cost or get an unfair advantage by working with somebody from outside the country,” says Khumalo.

He adds that politicians are seeing the advantage of leveraging xenophobic sentiments.

However, political parties such as the Patriotic Alliance’s Gayton McKenzie and ActionSA’s Herman Mashaba have both been vocal about their anti-foreign sentiments.

Khumalo alleges that political parties have somewhat been the instigators to the July unrest and possibly ‘Operation Dudula’.

“We have to be very aware of how we have our prejudices used to cover the sense of those who are in power and we have to avoid it by all means necessary,” warns Khumalo.

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