Raids on foreign nationals in Joburg CBD divide social media

Raids on foreign nationals in Joburg CBD divide social media

- Police have arrested a number of undocumented immigrants in a series of raids in the Johannesburg CBD

- The busts have drawn a divided response on social media

- Some support the police crackdown, while others claim that the operations are at least partly xenophobic

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Police in Johannesburg have launched a series of raids this week under the name Okae Molaeo.

These operations have led to several arrests and have received praise from Police Minister Bheki Cele and Gauteng Premier David Makhura.

The raids have also received a lot of attention on social media but have drawn a decidedly mixed response.

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"We are cleaning up our CBD," Makhura posted on Twitter. "We are sending a very strong message to all those who think they can occupy our buildings illegally."

Some people on social media welcomed these busts, with one saying, "How I wish this operation #OkaeMolao to be extended to Durban CBD, especially in South Beach."

Another wrote, "#OkaeMolaothat's one way to get shit done. We can no longer be emotionally blackmailed by foreigners."

Nathi Xequar also dismissed suggestions that the raids had a xenophobic element. 

"This not a xenophobic act," she wrote. "Each and every country has laws and we all have to abide by them." 

Others, however, argued that there were problems with the raids. One social media user questioned why police were focusing their energy on undocumented immigrants rather than taking action regarding "sex slaves, human trafficking and crack down on drugs".

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Others have raised concerns about the measures used by police. For example, one user shared a video in which a police officer appears to kick a foreign national, with the caption, "Was that kick necessary though?"

Another user, under the name Agba Ojogbon, said that "the real issue isn't being dealt with" by these raids.

"When the populace is done turning on the foreigners - legal or/and illegals - they will begin to turn on themselves based on race and tribe," he wrote.

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