ANC Gauteng's attempts to weigh in on the recent attacks by foreign nationals backfired when they were accused of having created an environment that allowed the ambush to happen in the first place.
The party sent out a statement on Friday following a day of chaos in the Joburg CBD where police officers found themselves under attack from the foreign nationals who pelted them with rocks and other objects.
Police had gone to Jeppe Street to follow up on information on fake goods being sold by the foreigners when they were attacked.
The party, in a statement posted on Twitter and Facebook, said it condemns "in the possible strongest terms acts of anarchy and lawlessness that played themselves out in the Joburg City Centre yesterday (Thursday).
We blame Anc for all this— khumbu mudzunga (@JMudzunga) August 2, 2019
"Some foreign national traders prevented law enforcement agencies from carrying out crime prevention operations targeting counterfeit goods in the Joburg CBD.
"We commend the conduct of the police as they ensured there were no casualties, however, the thuggery and violence that confronted them should not go unpunished. Criminals must never believe that Gauteng is a safe haven for them.
"The brazen attack on the officers of the law is an act of extreme provocation and poses a serious threat to the safety and security of South Africa and other nationalities who are in the country legally. The ability of the state to maintain law and order has seriously been undermined.
We call on law enforcement agencies and the relevant government departments not to be intimidated ans to respond firmly in rooting out lawlessness, dealing with illegal immigration and criminality in our society."
However, the statement did not go well with many who in turn turned on the party, laying the blame solely at their feet such as @khutso_nkoana1 who tweeted: "Mxm,You watched this happen and did nothing!! Buildings being taken and Owned for free!! No control whatsoever."
His words were echoed by @MatumainiCholo who said "You proudly and singlehandedly brought us this mess!"
Okay, you've condemned it.— SANsUnited (@SANsUnited) August 2, 2019
What are you going to do about it now?
Table talks to tighten our immigration laws?
What R u going 2 do?
Or Are you going to do what u always do, condemn and then disappear?
You're sitting on a ticking time bomb pic.twitter.com/wE881l80O2
It your fault as Anc and all can do issue useless statements!— Kgabo (@Kgabo786) August 2, 2019