Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema was interviewed on 702 talk radio by Eusebius McKaiser on Thursday, where he said his party’s policy on immigration would be to open borders in a display of pan-African unity.
“Borders will not be there when the EFF is in government,” he said.
“If we speak decolonisation of education and other things, that must include the borders,” he continued.
The EFF leader said he believes foreigners are scapegoated by frustrated South Africans.
“The truth is when we are done fighting the foreigners, there will be a tribal war. There still will not be jobs, you still won’t get that woman you want because you will still be afraid to propose,” he said.
Malema’s explanation of the EFF’s policy on foreigners puts him at odds with the other two major South African parties, the governing African National Congress (ANC) and the biggest opposition party, the Democratic Alliance (DA).
The ANC’s new manifesto for the May 8 elections included a point on the party’s commitment to getting tough on undocumented immigrants.
The party says it will “take tough measures against undocumented immigrants involved in criminal activities in the country or in cross-border crimes, including those involved in illegal trading and selling adulterated food in townships and villages”.
At his speech at Moses Mabhida Stadium in January, President Cyril Ramaphosa spoke about the need for “effective border management” to ensure the safety of South Africa and its people.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane, meanwhile, recently blamed the ANC for South Africa’s “porous borders” which he said had allowed “Gaddafi’s millions” to unlawfully enter and leave the country.
“Ironically, it is precisely our porous, weak borders that seem to benefit the ruling elite and their billionaire friends across the world. How else would Jacob Zuma have brought hundreds of millions of Rand of Gaddafi’s money into South Africa in the first place to hide it at his Nkandla homestead?” asked Maimane, who made his remarks at a public meeting in Nkomazi, Mpumalanga.
Maimane was responding to media reports alleging Zuma had stashed Gaddafi’s millions, which the former president has denied.
Late last year the DA undertook a “border tour” in a bid to highlight the “true state” of South Africa’s borders.
Johannesburg’s mayor, the DA’s Herman Mashaba, has also been vocal in his opposition to undocumented migration to South Africa, recently saying in an eNCA interviews that borders around the country were the answer for peace and prosperity.
(Background reporting, ANA)