Operation Dudula Picks Up Momentum Across South Africa, New Movements Pop Up in the Northern Cape and KZN

Operation Dudula Picks Up Momentum Across South Africa, New Movements Pop Up in the Northern Cape and KZN

In June 2021, a young man named Nhlanhla Lux Dlamini launched an organisation called Operation Dudula which initially focused on getting rid of drugs in communities in Gauteng. Months later, the movement has spilled over to other provinces and has targeted foreign nationals.

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Nhlanhla Lux Dlamini has been at the top of social media trends in the past two weeks. The young man, aged 33 was also largely talked about during the July unrest when he and community members made the decision to protect Maponya Mall from being looted and destroyed during the protests.

Dlamini's activism did not start there and he is now the leader of an organisation that goes by the name Operation Dudula which started its operation in the township of Soweto, Johannesburg.

Explainer, Operation Dudula, Dudula Movement, Operation Fiela, Gauteng, Nhlanhla Lux Dlamini, EFF, President Cyril Ramaphosa, Julius Malema, IFP, DA, ACDP, KwaZulu-Natal
Operation Dudula was founded by a 33-year-old young man called Nhlanhla Lux Dlamini. Image: Michele Spatari
Source: Getty Images

Since the inception of the movement, there has been a lot of criticism about what the organisation stands for and whether Operation Dudula is a helpful movement or causing a lot more harm than good.

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What is Operation Dudula fighting for?

In June 2021, Dlamini launched his movement Operation Dudula and the organisation's main priority at the time was to rid communities of drugs and they went around conducting "clean up" operations, according to the BBC.

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The members of the organisation would specifically target members of the community who were suspected drug dealers as well as try to remove people who were occupying government infrastructure unlawfully.

The organisation's mandate has since expanded and illegal foreigners have now been added to the "clean up" list. In February 2022, Operation Dudula branched off to Hillbrow, in Johannesburg and made the call for all foreign nationals to leave South Africa if they are undocumented.

They have blamed illegal foreigners for the distribution of drugs, the high level of crime in Hillbrow as well as taking jobs from South African citizens. The movement has also made the call for small businesses in SA to hire citizens and refrain from hiring foreign nationals, according to the Daily Maverick.

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The BBC has noted that the main drive for Operation Dudula has been the high unemployment rate as well as poverty.

The organisation's leader Dlamini has stated in an interview with eNCA that Operation Dudula has no affiliation with any political organisation and they only care about the people of South Africa and putting them first over foreign nationals.

Heavy criticism levelled against Operation Dudula

Operation Dudula has been labelled as a xenophobic, vigilante and unlawful movement by many. The Economic Freedom Fighters was one of the first political organisations to call out the movement and went on to refer to them as criminals, reports the Daily Maverick.

Just recently, President Cyril Ramaphosa also called out the organisation during a Human Rights Day event on 21 March and noted that movements like Operation Dudula were in contravention of the law.

Ramaphosa called for the end of campaigns targeting foreign nationals and added that acts of vigilantism could not be allowed to continue in South Africa, according to TimesLIVE.

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Shortly after the president's address, Members of Parliament also condemned organisations such as Operation Dudula and asked for more action to be taken against them.

MPs from the Inkatha Freedom Party(IFP), the ACDP and the Democratic Alliance stated that movements like Operation Dudula should be stopped as they infringe on the rights of foreign nationals.

The DA in particular has blamed poor governance from the Department of Home Affairs and the African National Congress for the inception of movements such as Operation Dudula.

How far has Operation Dudula come?

While Operation Dudula may have started out in the Gauteng province, the movement has started to gain momentum in other provinces too. In November 2021, another movement called Dudula Movement sprung up in the township of Alexandra in Johannesburg.

The movement has the same beliefs and mandate as Operation Dudula even though they do not go by the same name. Dudula Movement is responsible for the shutting down of Pan Africa Mall and asking shopkeepers who were foreign nationals to produce immigration documents in order to keep their shops trading.

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Another movement called Operation Fiela was recently started in the Northern Cape province. Operation Dudula is also expected to branch off to KwaZulu-Natal, however, the official launch was postponed due to a number of reasons including the incarceration of Dlamini last week.

The KZN police also blocked them from gathering in Durban and denied them a permit. The police stated that the organisation had asked to have a gathering of 500 people, however, they felt the movement left a few questions unanswered.

With Dlamini now out of prison on bail, there is no telling what the organisation has in store to further its movement across the country.

Xenophobic tensions spill over in Bredasdorp, residents and foreigners clash

Briefly News previously reported that Residents of Bredasdorp took to the streets and skirmishes broke out between them and foreigners as xenophobic tensions reached boiling point.

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The violence erupted on Thursday and Friday with spaza shops and property belonging to foreign nationals being targeted by angry residents.

On Thursday, a group of disgruntled residents marched to the local municipality to hand over their memorandum of concerns, however, as they returned to their homes the group broke up into smaller clusters.

Source: Briefly News

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