Undeterred by the consequences of his the war he declared on legal immigrants, Mayor Mashaba has launched a new strategy to achieve his aim of finally getting rid of immigrants from South Africa’s biggest city and capital of Gauteng province, Johannesburg.
The mayor said with the influx of undocumented immigrants in South African provinces, especially in Gauteng, government should be able to salvage the situation by closing down the south African borders immediately. If not, he would introduce private prosecutions.
The mayor, reiterated his mission to clean up Africa’s richest city and the prime targets in his sights are undocumented immigrants and allegedly corrupt deals by the officials of the ANC.
Mashaba said if the national police authorities continue to fail to bring charges against corrupt officials, as he claimed they have, he’s prepared to bring private prosecutions.
“There’s massive corruption happening in our city. Unfortunately, I am not getting the full co-operation of the National Prosecuting Authority,” Mashaba said.
“If we had a functioning criminal justice system in this country and the city of Johannesburg we’d need special prisons because the cancer of corruption was already an accepted value system,” added the 57-year-old capitalist.
The controversial mayor has since taking office in August, drove shock into the spines of everyone as he related his decision to remove thousands of unauthorized inhabitants from buildings in Johannesburg’s centre.
His decision drew criticism from organisations whom the mayor dismissed as “so-called human rights groups”. His moves has also been argued to have sparked off a renewed xenophobia in the country.
Jacob Van Garderen, the national director of Lawyers for Human Rights said the mayor often plays on the fears that migrants are taking over the economy.
The director likened the mayor to Trump saying: “They play off the same play book.”
Meanwhile, Mayor Mashaba said his goal for downtown Johannesburg is to move people out of “hijacked” buildings, hire private companies to renovate them and then rent them to people earning at least R4 000 a month.
Socio-Economic Rights Institute of South Africa (Seri) cited 2013 census data which revealed that about 135 000 people in the city centre are from households that earn less than R3 200 a month while about 400 000 of Johannesburg’s 5-million people live in the inner city.
The influx of undocumented immigrants is undermining the local government’s efforts to revive the city centre and attract private companies to return to help reduce a housing backlog of about 300 000 units, Mayor Mashaba said adding that he has already gotten a private sector that is prepared to immediately turn that city into a construction site.
“We won’t push the people out of the city. I am working on a plan right now, which unfortunately I can’t give you the details, on how we are going to be turning the city around,” Mashaba said.