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Operation Dudula hits Durban: Anti-migrants campaigns intensify in South Africa

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Activities of the anti-migrants group, Operation Dudula have hit a new height as protesters marched through the streets of Durban demanding that the government take strong action to deal with high numbers of illegal immigrants.

Controversial groups, the Alexandra Dudula Movement and Operation Dudula, last month, started campaigns against undocumented foreign nationals and the campaigns have been supported by South African communities who feel marginalized.

The National Secretary of Operation Dudula, Zandile Dabula said “the issues are that people are coming into the country and they are not documented and the government is doing nothing about it, and it’s difficult to find them when they commit a crime. We just need our departments to actually enforce the laws that are there, because these laws are not enforced.”

A Pew Research poll conducted in 2018 showed that 62% of South Africans viewed immigrants as a burden on society by taking jobs and social benefits and that 61% of South Africans thought that immigrants were more responsible for crime than other groups.

The Deputy Chairperson of the movement, Dan Radebe, revealed that the protest moved to Durban because it houses the busiest harbour in the Southern African Development Community.

“That is the very same harbour they are using as the point of entry for all the fake goods that have flooded our country, killing our textile industry which then affects the unemployment rate as well.” Radebe added.

The recent rise in anti-immigrant campaigns in South Africa has left immigrants and refugees fearing for their safety. Understandably because of a history of Xenophobic attacks in South Africa, however, Operation Dudula thinks otherwise.

“I don’t understand why we should be called xenophobic because all we are asking is that people need to be documented when they come to this country. It’s done in other countries but people are not called xenophobic, but why are we being called xenophobic when South Africans are doing it?”

The United Nations International Organization for Migration, says between 2010 and 2017, the immigrant community in South Africa increased from 2 million people to 4 million people. The proportion of South Africa’s total population that is foreign-born increased from 2.8% in 2005 to 7% in 2019.

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Zambian government moves to retrieve body of student killed while fighting in Russia-Ukraine war

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Zambian authorities have resolved to send a delegation to Russia next week to retrieve the body of a 23-year-old Zambian student, Lemekhani Nathan Nyirenda, who died while fighting for the Russian military in Ukraine.

Nyirenda’s family and the government are, however, still waiting for answers from Moscow on how he was recruited into the army while serving a nine-year prison sentence in Russia.

Spokesman for the Zambian Ministry of Information and Media, Thabo Kawana, who confirmed this in a statement on Saturday, said the Ministry of Foreign Affairs is spearheading efforts to bring the body of Nyirenda back to the country for burial.

“The government is also offering support during this trying moment and doing everything they can to arrange for the funeral and repatriation of the body back to Zambia,” Kawana said.

“Using our diplomatic channels and our all-weather cooperation between Russia and ourselves, we will be able to get to the bottom of this matter,” he added.

Zambia’s Foreign Affairs Minister, Stanley Kakubo, at a press conference earlier in the week, said that Nyirenda who had been studying at the Moscow Engineering Physics Institute, was serving a nine-year prison sentence for a drug offense.

He said Nyirenda was killed on the front lines in September, but Russian authorities only just informed Zambia of the death while Zambia is demanding answers over the student’s death and why he had been sent to Ukraine.

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Algerian court sentences 49 people to death for lynching citizen over forest fires

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An Algerian court has sentenced 49 people to death for lynching and burning a citizen, Jamal Ben Ismail, and mutilating his body in the Kabylia region after he was wrongly accused him of causing a vast forest fire in which over 90 people were killed, the Algerian Press Service reports.

However, according to the Algerian moratorium on executions enacted in 1993, the sentences would be concerted to life imprisonment terms.

The report by the APS on Friday said the Casablanca Court of First Instance in Algiers, also handed down judgements “ranging from ten to two years enforceable imprisonment against 28 defendants, in addition to fines ranging from 100 to 200,000 Algerian dinars, while it acquitted 17 other defendants.”

“All the accused were prosecuted on multiple charges, particularly the offence of committing “terrorist acts and subversion against the state security and national unity, involvement in deliberate and premeditated murder.

“Other charges were assault with violence against members of the public force, dissemination of hate speech and incitement to destroy the property of others and armed gathering,” according to the APS.

Local media reports that the then 38-years-old Ismail, had voluntarily gone to a town in Tizi Ouzou in the northwest of the country to help extinguish forest fires.

“When he learned that some of the town’s residents suspected him of being involved in setting fires because he was a stranger to the region, he rushed to hand himself to the police, however, a large crowd of angry citizens snatched him from the hands of the police, tortured him, burned him alive and mutilated his body,” a media report said.

Some videos circulated on social media showed crowds surrounding the police car where Ben Ismail was held, they then dragged him out and started beating him.

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