The provincial government of KwaZulu-Natal and the SAPS have warned proponents of Operation Dudula that lawlessness will not be tolerated and law enforcement agencies stand ready to act.
Yesterday the province, more specifically the city of Durban, was on tenterhooks after Mfanafuthi Dumakude, the leader of Operation Dudula in KwaZulu-Natal, sent a voice note saying they would start an operation near the Workshop shopping centre in the city centre.
However, the operation, which was the KwaZulu-Natal leg of the nationwide Operation Dudula spearheaded by the now-incarcerated Nhlanhla Lux Dlamini, was botched with the police and the city authorities saying no permission was given.
Lennox Mabaso, spokesperson for the KwaZulu-Natal government, told Independent Media yesterday that they do not comment on activities of individual organisations but they are always ready to lend an ear to everyone since they were a listening government.
He added that in spite of this, all activities must be peaceful and should not infringe on theights of other South Africans.
“In any event, if any action threatens the peace and stability of the province, the law enforcement agencies are there to deal with it,” Mabaso said.
He stressed that there was zero-tolerance for anarchy in the province.
"Violence in KwaZulu-Natal will not be tolerated and will be swiftly responded to by the law enforcement ... we are a law-abiding country and our Constitution does not allow anyone to take the law into his own hands,“ he added.
Themba Mkhize, the leader of South African street traders in Durban, claimed that the reason Operation Dudula was halted was because he called the national leadership of the operation and told them that the Workshop precinct was now fully in the hands of South African traders and any move would mean they were fighting their own people.
Mkhize shot to prominence when, late last year, together with former freedom fighters from MK, Apla and others, he led an operation “to clean” the area of alleged illegal immigrants who were trading there.
“I must say that we have nothing to do with this Operation Dudula, even though we once worked with some of the people who are now behind it here in Durban. We believe that the area they targeted is now in the right hands of South Africans,” he said.
Mkhize’s uneasiness comes as there is tension between supporters of the operation and the EFF, which some believe allegedly orchestrated the arrest of Nhlanhla Lux, who is expected to appear in court. On Saturday some supporters of Lux voiced their anger towards the EFF by burning its flag.
Before the operation was aborted, the police in KwaZulu-Natal said they were ready to deal with law-breakers as the action was not given the official nod by the eThekwini Municipality.
“Following voice notes and other messages threatening violence and criminality in KwaZulu-Natal, police officers and other security forces are prepared to react to any event which may contribute to the breakdown of law and order. Police officers will be deployed strategically to respond swiftly and deal with those who act unlawfully,” said police spokesperson Brigadier Jay Naicker.