The United Democratic Movement (UDM) condemns the use of violence and destruction of property by some foreign nationals in Mayfair, Gauteng.

This is in response to charges that Somalian spaza shop owners, acting as asylum seekers and refugees, have allegedly begun a turf war with other foreign nationals in order to prohibit them from operating businesses in the area, claiming that it is their business territory.

We have seen many videos of cars being burned, infrastructure being destroyed, gunshots being fired, and trash being scattered over the streets, all of which will put further strain on our local resources.

The current regime has lost touch with reality; some illegal foreign nationals can stage acts of violence, carry illegal firearms, and burn cars under police watch. The UDM has warned that unfettered immigration allows terrorist elements to readily enter South Africa.

Many South Africans are outraged that some foreign nationals violate the country’s laws and control areas of our economic districts.

In Gqeberha (2021), a fight started between a taxi operator and a Somali businessperson after their vehicles had collided. The situation escalated into a full-fledged riot after the taxi driver was supported by other operators and the businessperson’s car was set alight. The owner of the mobilised other business owners – according to reports, most of them happened to be Somali nationals. Waving guns, clearing the streets, and chasing taxi operators out of the area, including burning six of their taxis.

Illegal foreign nationals are free to roam South Africa, and some are committing crimes that are impossible to commit in their home countries. Our citizens have been let down by the ANC-led government. They have long failed to address the issue of illicit zama-zamas who aggressively exploit our natural resources.

The UDM urges law enforcement to act against perpetrators of violence and criminality, regardless of citizenship or social background and call on foreign nationals in Mayfair to engage in peaceful dialogue.

Issued by:
United Democratic Movement National Office
Mr Yongama Zigebe
UDM Secretary General