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First, the army was sent to the hostels. Now they’re on the streets conducting stop and search operations. When xenophobic violence started to damage South Africa’s international reputation, the state took action. Now, the state’s using the army to sort out local concerns on immigration and clamp down on migrant communities. By GREG NICOLSON.
In a joint operation featuring both the police and the SANDF on Monday, around 50 undocumented migrants were arrested across Hillbrow, Johannesburg central and Mayfair in stop-and-search patrols in the morning. The deployment of defence force officers follows raids last week in Johannesburg on the Wolhuter Hostel in Jeppe and the Madala Hostel in Alexandra in the state’s response to xenophobic violence.
Unlike last week’s raids, which targeted the migrant workers’ hostels that are often portrayed as symbols of violence, Monday’s operation shifted the focus to predominantly African migrant communities. While targeting the migrant communities comes in response to many concerns, raised by both government and South Africans, this year, it also appears to target those who have been vulnerable to the violence. Gauteng police spokesperson Lungelo Dlamini said the deployment was part of crime prevention.
Nigel Branken, who moved his family to Hillbrow to engage…
Source : Daily Maverick