South Africa – The leader of the opposition political party Patriotic Alliance, Gayton McKenzie, is inciting xenophobia against Zimbabweans.
MacKenzie is doing this by issuing an ultimatum to what he calls undocumented Zimbabweans to leave South Africa for Zimbabwe immediately or risk being “forced to flee” after the upcoming general elections in May.
In a social media post on X, McKenzie delivered a stern message, attributing South Africa’s challenges to what he called the failed land reform program in Zimbabwe. He pointed out that despite constant complaints about the Zimbabwean government, Zimbabweans in South Africa neglected their chance to vote for change. McKenzie warned of upcoming consequences, stating, “We will chase you from our country, and you will thank us one day.”
Expressing a seemingly mixed sentiment of care for Zimbabweans, McKenzie emphasized the urgency for them to leave voluntarily, cautioning that there would be “no place to hide” after the elections.
He suggested that politicians currently supporting their stay in South Africa might abandon them during power-sharing negotiations.
Responding to a user questioning his focus on Zimbabweans, McKenzie clarified that his stance was not exclusive to them but highlighted their perceived sense of entitlement.
He affirmed the intention to address all illegal foreigners, emphasizing Zimbabweans as particularly problematic.
The 49-year-old politician, recently denying reports about his Zimbabwean origins, has sparked a debate surrounding the issue of illegal immigration in South Africa. The country has been a destination for millions of Zimbabweans since 2000, seeking refuge due to economic challenges.
As illegal immigration becomes a focal point ahead of the upcoming elections, far-right groups have emerged, blaming undocumented immigrants for South Africa’s socio-economic difficulties.
The situation remains tense as political figures like McKenzie heighten rhetoric on the issue.