EFF leader Julius Malema wants government to reopen the country’s borders. File picture: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency (ANA)
EFF leader Julius Malema wants government to reopen the country’s borders. File picture: Cindy Waxa/African News Agency (ANA)

Herman Mashaba calls for action against Julius Malema over borders ’incitement’

By Siviwe Feketha Time of article published Jan 20, 2021

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Johannesburg - Action SA leader Herman Mashaba has continued to lambaste the EFF as his relations with the red berets have soured over the party’s controversial views on immigration.

This comes after Mashaba lodged a complaint in Parliament against EFF leader Julius Malema over his recent controversial remarks which were seen to be encouraging foreign nationals to enter the country illegally if they were not allowed in at border gates.

Addressing a party briefing, Malema called for border gates to be open and that “if the gates are not going to be open for SADC, fellow SADC people, please find a creative way. This is your home, your families are here. There is no ways anyone is going to close you out here”.

Mashaba made his complaint despite being threatened by the EFF that this would end his fledgling political career.

He has accused Malema of inciting foreign nationals to violate the country’s laws and the current Covid-19 regulations which have seen borders being temporarily closed as part of containing the spread of the virus.

In his letter and affidavit sent to National Assembly Speaker Thandi Modise, Mashaba called for action against Malema as his conduct was not in keeping with the conduct expected of a lawmaker.

Speaking to Independent Media yesterday, Mashaba said Malema had to be made to explain what he meant by asking foreign nationals to find creative ways to enter the country if borders were closed.

“He needs to be interrogated about this. This is unacceptable and cannot be allowed. Their bullying will not stop me from opposing this,” Mashaba said.

The former Johannesburg mayor, who enjoyed strong backing from the EFF since he took over until he resigned in 2019, said he was unapologetic about his long-held views on immigration, adding that it was irresponsible for public representatives to encourage illegality.

“SA needs to encourage people of the world to come to SA, but they must come here legally and when they are here they must respect our laws. For whatever reason, if you come to SA and you don’t have documentation, Home Affairs has constitutional obligation to give you the papers of you qualify. If you don’t, they must send you back where you came from,” he said.

EFF spokesperson Vuyani Pambo dismissed Mashaba’s missive and jabs at Malema as a desperate attempt to gain relevance, and pointed out that the party would stand by its position on borders.

“We stand by that and we will fight for one United Africa that is borderless.

“Unlike the self-hating blacks led by the drum majorettes of ’Put South Africa First’, we are African and we will not be jailed by the resolutions of the Berlin Conference which continue to scramble Africa,” Pambo said.

Pambo said the closure of borders had also given rise to the illicit movement of goods.

“The people who enter South Africa now with borders closed are doing so without anyone asking them for a passport or Covid-19 certificate. Thus, the closure of the borders is illogical and racist,” he said.

EFF deputy president Floyd Shivambu took to social media on Monday and warned Mashaba that his attitude towards the EFF would cost him his political career.

“Your political life will be very difficult and your party lifespan short-lived if you adopt the ultra-right self-hating politics. Stay away from the EFF, many who tried are nowhere to be seen now,” Shivambu said.

Shivambu said Mashaba had “grown liberal horns”, despite his “claim to fame” being the EFF’s insourcing policies during his mayorship.

Parliament spokesperson Moloto Mothapo said Modise’s office had not yet received the letter from Mashaba.

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