‘You're a disgraceful leader’ — Inside Herman Mashaba’s spicy exchange with Jonathan Jansen
ActionSA leader Herman Mashaba and distinguished education professor Jonathan Jansen had social media in a mess on Sunday with a fiery exchange about foreigners allegedly being employed by the education department.
It started when Mashaba took to Twitter to claim foreigner nationals were being employed in senior positions in the department.
“It has been brought to my attention about the employment of foreign nationals in senior positions in the department of basic education. I will take up this matter with the minister and the SA Democratic Teachers Union if they have knowledge of this when South Africans are unemployed,” he said.
Jansen responded, calling Mashaba a “disgraceful leader” on a "campaign of xenophobia".
“Stop your campaign of xenophobia. You remind me of Idi’s [former president Idi Amin) crusade against Indians in Uganda. You are hateful and spiteful and an embarrassment to the country and the continent”.
Mashaba hit back, suggesting Jansen was “promoting lawlessness”.
“It is truly sad to have someone like you promoting lawlessness in a democratic environment. It is a disgrace to have an academic person taking such a stance. Why would ordinary South Africans respect our laws when their teachers are selective in the application of its laws?”
It is truly SAD to have someone like you promoting lawlessness in a Democratic Environment. It is a disgrace to have even an Academic person taking such a stance. Why would ordinary S Africans respect our Laws when their teachers are selective in the application of its laws? https://t.co/pAQ2f35S5d— Herman Mashaba (@HermanMashaba) January 30, 2022
Mashaba has been vocal for several years on the need to clamp down on illegal immigration, with many branding him a xenophobe.
In 2017 the African Diaspora Forum laid a complaint at the SA Human Rights Commission against Mashaba for allegedly making comments that could spark xenophobic attacks. These included allegations that the administration was “declaring war against illegality in our city” and comments linking undocumented immigrants to criminality.
The forum later reached a “historic” settlement with Mashaba on the matter.
“I personally condemn all forms of xenophobia. Foreigners are welcome in SA and immigration continues to add richness to our society. No-one should be discriminated against based on their country of birth or origin,” Mashaba said last year.
He also told his Twitter follower that ActionSA’s position on immigration was “misunderstood” and “mischaracterised”.
“As ActionSA, we want people of the world to come to SA, but they must do so legally. And when they are here, they must respect our laws,” he said.
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