Operation Dudula vigilante-like methods cannot be backed by ANC, Ramaphosa

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On the fringes of an ANC conference over the weekend, South Africa's president rejected anti-migrant group Operation Dudula calling it "a vigilante force-like organisation taking illegal action".** This comment comes few days after ANC spokesperson seemed to back partisans who supported the operation.**

President Cyril Ramaphosa has slammed ANC support for Operation Dudala. Speaking to local media houses on Sunday, after a party conference in Mpumalanga, eastern South Africa, he argued his party couldn't back the organisation. "The concerns that we have is that we have got a vigilante force-like organisation taking illegal action against people who they are targeting and these things often get out of hand, they always mutate into wanton violence against other people", the president said.

His remark came after ANC spokesperson Pule Mabe seemed to back partisans who supported the operation in an interview given to South African newspaper Mail & Guardian. In the interiew, Pule Mabe also labelled the group "constructive".

Unemployment at historic high

Early February, thousands demonstrated against illegal migrant workers near Cape Town, as part of Operation Dudula. Operation Dudula, Zulu for "drive back", gained traction in a sign of growing anti-migrant sentiment in the country. The results of the Quarterly Labour Force Survey (QLFS) for the fourth quarter of 2021 were published last month by Statistics South Africa show that in the fourth quarter of 2021, the official unemployment rate reached a historic 35,3%. The highest rate since 2008, when QLFS started.

The socio-economic situation worsened by Covid contributed to the popularity of the Dudula movement for whom "Foreign nationals are stealing jobs that belong to South Africans".

Enjoining those unhappy with the management of illegal immigration, President Ramaphosa told them "to act within the framework of the law."

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