- Herman Mashaba voiced his concern after a man was caught smuggling cigarettes between Zimbabwe and South Africa
- "Put South South Africa first", said the former Johannesburg Mayor, who has been accused of xenophobia on multiple occasions
- According to lockdown regulations, the sale of cigarettes is prohibited
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Former Mayor of Johannesburg, Herman Mashaba, has taken to social media to voice his concern about the borders of South Africa. A video emerged of a man allegedly smuggling cigarettes from from Zimbabwe to South Africa.
The man, who was with a woman and a child, was caught on the R81, outside Polokwane. The suspect was arrested by Limpopo police and Polokwane provincial traffic officers after being chased by the police. The sale of cigarettes is banned under Covid-19 regulations.
Mashaba, reacted to the video shared by another Twitter user, saying:
"I guess our borders are just there on paper #PutSouthAfricaFirst"
The former Johannesburg Mayor has been very vocal about his stance on the closure of South Africa's borders. In 2019, South Africa was rocked by a series of deadly attacks on foreigners, with many directed at Nigerian business owners. At least 12 people were killed, 10 of whom were South Africans.
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The violence also left hundreds of shops destroyed. Former Minister of Energy, Jeff Radebe (now Minister in the Presidency), on behalf of President Cyril Ramaphosa, apologized to Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari for the attacks.
In a CNBC Africa interview, Mashaba said that "he had nothing to apologize". Mashaba said that Home Affairs needs to do something about undocumented foreigners in the country. Mashaba has been accused of being xenophobic because of his sentiments on foreigners.
Mashaba, who was part of the DA, quit abruptly in October 2019 and left his mayoral post the following month. He cited problems with DA leadership as his reason for leaving. Mashaba has formed his own political party, The People's Dialogue, which will be launched in August.
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