Several hundred South Africans and migrants staged an anti-xenophobia rally in response to marches against migrants by the self-styled ‘Operation Dudula’ movement.
‘Dudula means drive back in the Zulu language.
The anti-migrant sentiment is on the rise in South Africa, which is home to over three million refugees, asylum seekers, and migrant workers.
“There are people in our country who are trying to take advantage of the anger, the people feel about poverty, about unemployment, about hunger, and they are trying to turn that anger onto foreigners, mainly foreigners from other African countries. They are trying to create a fire, a xenophobic fire,” said Mark Heywood, an activist.
The man known as the pioneer of Operation Dudula says he’s defending South African workers and has received a big following. Nhlanhla Dlamini was arrested by Police on Thursday.
South Africa is periodically plagued by xenophobic violence. Clashes broke out in 2015, 2016, and again in 2019.
So far, Dudula’s rallies have been peaceful.