Sharing intelligence will help curb Joburg xenophobia: Maimane

10 September 2019 - 13:45 By Aphiwe Deklerk
DA leader Mmusi Maimane.
DA leader Mmusi Maimane.

DA leader Mmusi Maimane has called on the national government to share intelligence with the City of Johannesburg to help prevent xenophobic violence and looting.

The call comes on the heels of xenophobic flare-ups around the city.

Maimane, speaking outside the Johannesburg central police station, said the city — which is led by a DA coalition government — would deploy about 900 metro police officers to deal with the issue.

“I am calling that there be much more effective intelligence gathering and intelligence sharing. Often cities don’t have the intelligence to anticipate these acts of violence when they occur,” said Maimane.

He said intelligence gathering needed to be brought closer “to the ground” so that law enforcement could be more effective at anticipating flare-ups.

“Much of the actions [by police] have been far more reactive, rather than proactive,” said Maimane.

He called for an increase in the number of public order police deployed in Gauteng, especially in hot-spot areas.

Maimane said the city had increased the number of Johannesburg Metro Police Department officers to more than 1,000 and they would have more than 200 vehicles.

He said he had written to President Cyril Ramaphosa to discuss the matter.

“Let us work together to bring a stop to these actions... we need to restore law and order,” added Maimane.

He reiterated the DA’s stance on the need to ensure proper documentation of all people in South Africa, including foreigners.

Maimane defended mayor Herman Mashaba over his comments about spaza shops not being registered.

“We all agree that the rule of law must apply... if you want to set up a business elsewhere, let’s make sure registration is done properly. It would be true for any business, a South African business, a non-South African business, which is what mayor Herman Mashaba [is saying],” said Maimane.

He said the country needed to ensure proper registration for all to ensure rights for all people who come to South Africa.

“When people are properly registered, you can even enhance circular immigration, where people can come into a country, work and be able to go home,” said Maimane.