Organisational restructuring and goodbye
posted on 02 July 2018
June 25 this year marked the 10th anniversary of the African Diaspora Forum (ADF), which was formed on this date in 2008.
Formed on the ashes of probably the worst ever episode of xenophobic violence to have hit South Africa, the ADF has come of age.
It has been a long, bumpy road for all of us – a rollercoaster of a ride and one that when we look back, evokes some bittersweet experiences. On one hand, it gives us shrills, reminds us of regrettable scenes such as the wanton destruction of property and the flowing of the blood of our fellow African brothers and sisters, who have over the years become victims of the hate crime called xenophobia.
On the other hand, we take pride in the wonderful work we have done thus far – together with government and other stakeholders, to try and stop hate crimes and build unity among Africans through dialogue, input on policy changes and a number of other activities. Key among our signature events is the annual Africa Week Carnival, which draws together 5000 - 15000 Africans of various nationalities to one Pan-Africanist event and celebration of their pride in being Africans and foster social cohesion.
Due to the nature of our work as an organization that seeks to protect migrants and their rights and bring back the migrants’ dignity, while also balancing that with the interests of locals, things do admittedly heat up sometimes. It therefore comes as no surprise that during the course of our work, we have created and probably continue to create ourselves a number of enemies, but positively, we have also made a number of good and worthy friends, most notably the CCFD-Terre Solidaire, Foundation for Human Rights, Lawyers For Human rights, MSF, J M Busha, the Panafrican Business Forum, the Embassy of France, the Carnival Company of South Africa, the Gauteng Provincial Government, most of the African communities based in South Africa. We have managed to establish ADF-Togo, ADF-Malawi, and we are projecting to establish ADF in at least 20 African countries the next 12 months. This will help create a very good civil society network to advocate for African citizens.
This unforgettable mixed bag of experiences will always linger in my mind and it is therefore, with a heavy heart that I write this statement to announce my immediate relocation from South Africa to France. I have formed the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) and will always hold it so dear in my heart.
Due to my research with Aix-marseille University, and some personal and family related reasons, I will now be based in France. I still continue my research with the University of Johannesburg, therefore a very strong link with Mzanzi.
I have left yesterday June 27th, 2018. I will remain in touch with both the ADF and all the stakeholders we worked with as an organization to ensure that this noble cause we started together does not come to naught. My positioning in Europe should be seen as a strategic move to even strengthen our efforts in Africa. I will remain the ADF Chairperson for the next six months pending the next Annual General Meeting, so I am not yet completely gone and I will continue to come to South Africa regularly.
The destination we want to reach as Africans – our Canaan, is still far from our immediate reach, but I still believe that our vision, our energy, our determination, our unity and the support from our stakeholders will eventually get us there.
I will continue to participate in and follow the work of the ADF and where possible, assist the organization with whatever I can. The ADF has a permanent place in my heart and Africa is my permanent home and whatever effort is needed of me to contribute to a better life for all Africans, I will render without the need of an extra push.
Allow me to announce that to further strengthen its resolve and improve capacity as a monolithic organization representing the rights of our African brothers and sisters continentally, the ADF recently made a number of changes to its executive committee through both dealing with internal strife and injecting new blood that will help the organization soar to the dizziest of heights that it has always sought to reach.
To be able to move forward, the organization has, following its National Executive Committee meeting last week, suspended its Secretary, Mr. Medard Abenge Yega Buswata for one year, for conduct that has brought the organization into disrepute. The suspension is with effect from June 22 2018 and is set to run till June 21, 2019. The decision to suspend Mr. Abenge was sad but was taken to save the ADF from further embarrassment and self-destruction, following Mr. Abenge’s character of fighting with his colleagues willy-nilly, especially during crucial meetings with high-level diplomats, stakeholders and journalists, is something that has previously cast the organization in bad light and cost it dearly on a number of times. Two months ago, Mr Abenge received a warning but unfortunately the fight continued. As we speak Mr Abenge has physically fought with 11 colleagues for no good reasons.
The decision to immediately suspend Mr. Abenge was taken with the interest of the organization at heart, as no one individual is either indispensable or bigger than the ADF.
More positively, the ADF has appointed Dr Ur Koumba as its Deputy Chairperson. Dr Koumba, is the Chairperson of the Gabonese Community in South Africa and a renowned academic at the University of Johannesburg. He is immediately taking over as the ADF Acting Chairperson for the next six months, during which I will be away and pending the next Annual General Meeting that is set to appoint a new executive committee.
Other new additions made, include the following:
Mxolisi Ncube, was appointed to the position of Deputy Secretary and takes over as Acting Secretary following the suspension of Mr Abenge.
Nkanyezi Star Ndlovu becomes the Office Administrator.
Kennedy Khabo Mabe, who has served as the Chairperson’s Chief Advisor for months, becomes the new ADF spokesperson, filling the void left by our hero Johnson Emeka, who passed on recently.
Cyprian Ikani becomes the new Office Manager.
Claude Kabambi, becomes the Secretary of the ADF’s Disciplinary Committee and the representative of ADF-Cape Town.
The road ahead will always be slippery, full of potholes and sudden bends and uphill struggles, but our focus and determination will take us there. I urge us all to have just one goal in mind as we continue to engage and chat the way forward – one united Africa that respects and protects the vulnerable within its shores and it is only a focused and united ADF that can help build that. Let's join hands and build a continent which can be proud of itself.
African Diaspora Forum (ADF)
Africa Week 2018
posted on 04 June 2018
A better Africa for a best world
In his welcome address, the ADF Chairperson, Marc Gbaffou emphasizes on the fact that the historical role played by the Premier of Gauteng, Honourable David Makhura in the Gauteng Provincial Government is unique and shall be spread across the continent. According to Marc Gbaffou, this year commemoration is a “historical coincidence”. In fact, the “ADF has been fighting for 10 years to make sure things happen on behalf of migrants and the diaspora community in South Africa. Now, the country of Nelson Mandela and Cyril Ramaphoza is taking very prominent roles in international bodies. That is what makes this a special and important time. For the ADF Chairperson, “this year celebration is very important as it is dedicated to our hero, our world icon, Nelson Mandela: “the year of Nelson Mandela, building a better Africa and a better world”.
The Kingdom of Morocco presence on the African scene
A view shared by the Moroccan Embassy in South Africa Charge d’Affaires, Mr Abdelkader Naji, “as we celebrate Africa Day we must remember our forefathers who lead the fight of the liberation of the African nations from colonialism and then, worked to reunite it on the regional or continental level’’.
Thus, “we recalled King Mohammed V, Hassan II, Kwame Nkrumah, Abdel Nasser and others…” As we ought to our forefathers the creation of the framework that united the African countries aiming:
to liberate the continent from colonialism. Elimination of economic underdevelopment. Consolidation of African solidarity. To elevates the continent to the status it deserves in international decision-making.
Then this institution was reformed and named the African Union with new objectives and principles aiming to strengthen the democratic institutions; to respect the human rights and to combat terrorism as one of the universally accepted principles.
According to the Kingdom of Morocco representative in South Africa, “these objectives are noble and great aimed at serving the African citizen, but the challenges seem to be greater than to be achieved in a situation that suffers from the fragility of the economy and the consequences of climate change and wars, which lead to racism, illegal migration and terrorism, xenophobia etc”.
One must know that the Kingdom of Morocco under the leadership of His Majesty King Mohamed VI, by virtue of its African identity and its African depth, has always been and shall continue to be present on the African scene, economically, politically, generally when the Kingdom is needed. In all situations, Morocco stands beside his African brothers. Hereby we remember Nelson Mandela, António Agostinho Neto, Ahmed Benbella and others who were hosted, trained and supported by the kingdom of Morocco in their fight against colonialism and apartheid.
Read the full article
Premier Makhura to lead Gauteng Africa Day celebrations
posted on 27 May 2018
All Media Attention: News Editors/ Journalist Date: 22 May 2018 Premier Makhura to lead Gauteng Africa Day celebrations To mark Africa Day, Premier David Makhura will lead provincial celebrations as Gauteng joins the rest of the continent in celebrating the unity of Africa. The day is celebrated every year on 25 May. However, the Gauteng celebrations are scheduled for Saturday, 26 May in Yeoville. The highlight of the programme is a 4km colourful Carnival parade starting at 9:00 from Barnato Park High School through the streets of Yeoville and back. The event is organised through a partnership between the Gauteng City Region and the African Diaspora Forum under the theme “The year of Nelson Mandela: Civil Society Dialogue with African Migrants” as part of Mandela centenary celebrations. Taking part in the festivities are locally based cultural groups representing countries including South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, Zimbabwe, Ethopia and many others. Members of the media are invited to the event as follows:
Event: Gauteng Africa Day Carnival
Date: Saturday, 26 May 2018
Venue: Barnato Park High School
For media inquiries contact Nomazwe Ntlokwana on 083 507 8068 / 011 355 2578 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Issued by the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation
Xenophobia attacks: 10 years later migrants still hunted down
posted on 22 May 2018
It has been 10 years since the most terrifying and significant wave of shocking xenophobic attacks challenged South Africa’s national conscience but what is unfortunate and worrying is that the molestation of those deemed as foreigners continues unabated to this day.
In 2008, South Africa witnessed one of the worst, terrifying episodes of xenophobia where over 60 migrants were killed, thousands displaced and property worth millions of rand were destroyed after locals turned on foreigners accusing them of taking up their space in Africa’s second largest economy.
The xenophobic attacks drew international condemnation where the South African government was urged to act against the brutality but it is unfortunate that today, xenophobia has continued putting migrants’ businesses and livelihoods in danger.
To honour xenophobia victims and plead for an end to it, the African Diaspora Forum (ADF), a group that aims to serve migrants in South Africa, held commemorations last Friday to mark 10 years since the xenophobic violence in Yeoville, Johannesburg.
This year’s commemoration is significant in that it comes just three years after the outbreak of yet another episode of anti-foreigner violence that killed at least six people in KwaZulu-Natal Province, and in the midst of widespread fears that similar attacks could be imminent in the KwaZulu-Natal Province, where foreign businesses have been ordered to close shop, pack and go or face a backlash from a local business organisation.
As per its 10-year tradition, the commemoration included a multi-faith prayer and candle-lighting session in which various faith leaders, notably Christians and Muslims preached unity. As per its 10-year tradition, the commemoration included a multi-faith prayer and candle-lighting session in which various faith leaders, notably Christians and Muslims preached unity.
ADF chairman, Marc Gbaffou, said it was important to observe the day and remember those who lost their lives because of their nationalities. He lamented that it was sad that each time there was a protest or any frustration against poor service delivery South African communities took out their anger on foreigners. “Migrants pay the price and that is worrying,” Gbaffou said.
The chair noted that South Africa had to show humanity and not send high-powered delegations to solicit for investment from other countries. “South Africa has to show humanity and protect migrants. South Africa needs to show sympathy then investors will come. We already forgot about apartheid but be careful, this is the same apartheid applied among blacks. We can’t live forever saying because of his colour or nationality he’s the boss but that is what is happening with migrants who are being killed here,” he said.
Gbaffou posed a question to the South African government, asking what it has done to safeguard migrants. “We ask what are you doing to correct this situation, we want to know what the government is doing to protect migrants. We can’t desist to tell the South African government that it has to act. We should live by example. Look at the icons, Nelson Mandela, Patrice Lumumba and Julius Nyerere who cared for human folk.”
The ADF chair also lambasted South Africa and regional blocs for pushing business interests at the expense of humanity.
“South Africa opens itself because it wants to do business with the other 53 countries but let us change that we must talk about protection before we talk about business. Sadc as a structure must talk about human welfare but it is concerned with business yet human beings are more important. In the same manner, the African Union must also concern itself with human safety,” he said.
Gbffou said the ADF was calling on the South African government to have an urgent summit about migration and migrants to set the tone, discussing a possible end to xenophobia. “South Africa is becoming scary. We are scared look at the recent incidents in North West, KwaZulu-Natal, Gauteng (migrants were recently threatened to pack their belongings). “It is very important for us to talk about this because everyday migrants are losing their lives. This can’t be correct. Integration is so important to us,” highlighted the ADF chair.
Chairperson of the Zimbabwe community, Ngqabutho Nicholas Mabhena said it was important for Africans to come together, understand social cohesion because it sought to build unity and humanity. Mabhena noted that migrants were in search of better opportunities and most fled their home countries due to a myriad of problems ranging from economic, political woes; others were refugees and did not need to be persecuted further. “We should all learn to live with each other and in the words of Kwame Nkrumah: ‘I am not African because I was born in Africa but because Africa was born in me.’”
Yeoville councillor, Refielwe Mazibuko who also spoke at the commemorations said refusal to acknowledge fellow Africans stung such as the battle where white people refused to recognise nor respect blacks. Clr Mazibuko said people should co-exist with each other and share resources well.
“At the moment South Africa is now talking about land, yes, we want our land back from white capitalists and that is a big issue because it is just and right for people to have access to resources,” she said.
The xenophobia commemorations were attended by partners of ADF, migrant communities and locals.ADF will also use the commemoration to roll out its full Africa Week programme — ahead of Africa Day on 25 March — meant to foster the spirit of national healing and co-existence.
ADF Statement on the murder of Clement Ebuka Nwaogu
posted on 01 May 2018
The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) is appalled by the latest killing of yet another migrant – Clement Ebuka Nwaogu, who was murdered in brutal circumstances in Rustenburg on April 22, 2018
Mr. Nwaogu, a Nigerian national and furniture designer, was killed in barbaric circumstances - burnt to death by a mob, in apartheid-era methods that used to attract international condemnation.
Information made available to the ADF is that Mr. Nwaogu was approached by a mob of South African nationals, who easily identified him as a Nigerian and asked him, “Where are the drugs?” This was obviously drawn from stereotypes – some propagated by top government officials, that all Nigerians are in the business of peddling drugs.
When he told them that he was just a furniture shop owner, the mob descended on him like a common criminal, attacking him with any dangerous weapon they could lay their hands on before the watching of some members of the South African Police Service. His cries to the police to save him fell on deaf ears, as the law-enforcement agents allegedly turned a blind eye, according to the onlookers.
The helpless man tried to run for his life, but his attackers chased him as if he was a scoundrel and they caught him again, they stoned him, stabbed him with sharp objects as if he was some of haunted beast.
Obviously not content with the pain they had already inflicted on a fellow human being, the attackers poured gasoline on him, set him ablaze and left him for dead. Some eye-witnesses called an ambulance, which took him to hospital, but he unfortunately did not make it, as he died on Sunday morning at Job Shimankane Hospital in Rustenburg.
The deceased left behind his wife, Patricia Marivate Nwosu and his two children aged three and five years old. That this fatal savage attack came in the hands of people who were ostensibly demonstrating against alleged corruption by a top government official can only serve to prove the simmering hate that some South Africans still harbour against migrants, who have nothing to do with iniquities of the problems being caused by politicians and public servants.
What appalls us more is that it has become a growing trend in South Africa that when citizens decide to protest, they turn on innocent migrants as their soft targets to vent their anger and frustrations.
For how long should fellow human beings continue to die – being clubbed or roasted to death, before the South African government heed calls for xenophobia to be declared a crime and deterrent punishment prescribed for it?
Rustenburg has apparently become a killing zone against migrants, with many of them having lost their lives there during the last few months.
Although its constitution says that South Africa belongs to all who live in it, migrants continue to be killed like beasts in this country, yet nothing is being done on the criminals who perform these dastardly acts.
From PhD students to shop owners, the killers have no remorse. Each time authorities announce in the media – and loudly so, that investigations are underway, but sadly no-one does a follow-up, or gives the findings of the ultimate outcome. Our findings are that most investigations linked to the killing of migrants are hardly ever concluded to reveal the true reasons.
Most of the times, high ranked authorities - including Ministers, rush to the scene just to help divert attention or hide investigations. It looks like migrants lives no longer have a meaning in South Africa.
Paradoxically, South African government officials keep singing to the international community a deceptive song about its willingness to ensure the integration of Africans and the continent, yet the situation on the ground paints a different picture of a serious lackadaisical failure.
On behalf of the African Diaspora Forum (ADF)
Marc Gbaffou, Chairperson
Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba flew all the way to Rwanda – where a fairly hassle-free visa was granted to him upon entry – to tell fellow Africans they must get all their documents in order before entering South Africa. And when they’re in, they should please refrain from being criminals. His comments didn't go down so well.
It’s not the first time that Joburg’s mayor, former businessman Herman Mashaba, said anything about illegal immigration. In fact, his previous harsh words on immigrants are so well-known that, even as he was on a panel at the Mo Ibrahim Foundation’s governance conference in Kigali this weekend to talk about public servants, an Ethiopia-based Kenyan researcher, Michelle Mendi Muita from the Institute for Peace and Security Studies at the Addis Ababa University, asked him about it.
Referring to the Tana Forum the weekend before, which she helped organise, Muita quoted former Ghanaian president John Dramani Mahama as saying that Ghana has not had a massively increased influx of Africans since it abandoned visa requirements in 2016 (something he initiated). The most radical change has been that travel to his country was now hassle-free.
Is there a disconnect between genuine local sentiments (i.e. a fear of being overwhelmed by illegal immigrants) and aspirations for free travel and trade in Africa?
She noted that South Africa was not one of the 44 countries that signed the Africa Free Trade Area agreement in this same city last month. (It was also not among the 27 countries signing the Protocol on Free Movement of People – President Cyril Ramaphosa said local red tape had to be cleared first.)
It wasn’t clear from Mashaba’s speech whether he’d really heard of debate around an African passport or the need for visa-free travel, or even about how difficult it is for perfectly legal people to get into this country. One of the high flyers at the event has previously privately expressed his relief at getting an African passport, primarily because this makes getting into South Africa for frequent work trips less of a painful heap of paperwork.
Mo Ibrahim himself remarked to Rwandan president Paul Kagame, during their public conversation on Saturday afternoon, how good it was to have the foundation’s conference in a country where not one attendee experienced visa problems. Getting the $30-visa-on-arrival to Rwanda is a fairly painless process, yet Kagame did not indicate that the fears which keep South Africans from simplifying its visa procedures have come true in this small, rapidly-developing country in the heart of Africa.
Mashaba, however, launched into a somewhat tone-deaf response to Muita's question at the forum, saying he raised the matter of illegal immigrants in his speech in December 2016, after 100 days in office. Amongst others, he was quoted as saying at the time: “Anyone who’s been in the city illegally must be prepared to face us. We are not going to tolerate illegality in our city… I'm actually declaring war against illegality in our city.”
There were fears that Mashaba’s comments could encourage targeted xenophobic attacks already happening in the city and other places in South Africa.
Mashaba continued his response at the forum by saying: “I made it very clear South Africa is open to business, is open to the seven billion people of the world. I want them to come to South Africa, particularly Johannesburg, because Johannesburg for the past 106 years was built on the back of immigrants and people coming into South Africa.
“But firstly they have to come into our country legally, and when they are in, they must respect the laws of our country. That’s all I’m asking. I’m not asking for anything where people can’t come in. We sit with a massive number of undocumented people where Home Affairs are actually failing to ensure that, when people come into our country, they have the necessary documentation because, South Africans, by law, when a child is born, immediately they must get a birth certificate. When a child turns 16, immediately they must get an identity document, so therefore I cannot accept that anyone from the world can come into South Africa and not have documentation.
“Unfortunately for me this is not negotiable. When you come into South Africa, please come in legally, and respect the laws of our country.”
This is a message tailored more to please Mashaba’s domestic electorate than a continental audience.
Some Africans, who were not from South Africa, just shrugged when asked about Mashaba’s comments, although a Zimbabwean who has lived in South Africa was overheard jokingly being asked by a friend after the session whether she did, in fact, refrain from crime.
Some South Africans, like the African Peer Review Mechanism’s CEO, Eddy Maloka, however, were cringing. “I wanted to hide under my chair,” Maloka said, adding that “the audience was shocked that such comments could come out of the mouth of an African brother”. He confronted Mashaba about his sentiments after the session.
Maloka, in anger, also posted on his Facebook page that listening to Mashaba “with my eyes closed, I thought it was the infamous Donald Trump on the floor, defending the Great Wall project”.
He said this was an opportunity for Mashaba, on a pan-African platform, to clarify South Africa’s position, to clear misconceptions and misunderstandings.
“But the Mayor did exactly the opposite – spitting fire, speaking Trump, against criminals, against illegals, against the undesirables from across our borders, who cause trouble to our beautiful country. Through his choice of words, he was armed to teeth, with the necklace and panga. He was a warrior on a warpath on the streets of Johannesburg, fighting for a cause known only to himself.”
Maloka said South Africans should educate each other not only to see immigration primarily as a safety and security issue, but as a pan-African dream of a united and integrated Africa, and a “vehicle to be harnessed for development”.
To be fair, however, the DA’s Mashaba isn’t the only one in a country considered by much of the rest of Africa as of a somewhat insular mindset, who considers immigration as a safety and security issue. In the ANC-led South African government, which Maloka himself has previously served as a civil servant, the Home Affairs Department was, in 2016, fully integrated into the safety and security cluster – in an effort to prevent a small number of potential terrorists from entering the country.
Mashaba’s words may, therefore, be politically incorrect and undiplomatic, but his thinking isn’t entirely out of line with national government policy. Ramaphosa has recently announced that his team would travel the world, including Africa, to lure $100 billion of investment to the country. Perhaps a more visa-friendly regime might follow in the wake of his new dawn – and Mashaba would either update his rhetoric or risk becoming an anomaly.
Extracted from “The Daily Maverick”
Mama Winnie Madizikizela Mandela. The Mother of the Nation
posted on 11 April 2018
Re: The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) joins the nation and the World in mourning the passing of Mama Winnie Madizikizela Mandela. The Mother of the Nation
We would like to honour the Mother of the Nation's selfless and gallant contribution to the liberation of South Africa from the clutches and brutali of the apartheid system. Her bravery, leadership qualities and organizational skills all helped deliver South Africa’s independence from the racial apartheid regime in 1994.
Mama Winnie is the epitome of a brave African woman, especially when considering how she soldiered on - giving unending organizational, mobilize skills and political support to the ANC when it was still banned. She showed exceptional leadership to the African National Congress during the trying times when her husband, the iconic Nelson Mandela was incarcerated for a grueling 27 years.
It was during the liberation struggle when Mama Winnie etched her name into the echelons of South Africa’s liberation struggle which brought the fruits of today’s independence. But it did not end there. Even in the United South Africa, her works in organizing the ANC and giving guidance to other politicians, young and old, contributed to the success that the organization has continued to enjoy. Her role in post Apartheid South Africa as a Minister and adviser to other Ministers, helped keep South Africa on the road to political, social and economic health.
The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) and indeed the whole migrant community feels the pain of losing this iconic African woman, whose quest for love, peace and unity was not confined to South Africans only, but spread to other nationals in this country and beyond its shores.
We remember in 2008, in the aftermath of arguably the worst xenophobic violence to have ever hit this country, Mama Winnie took the time to publicly and humbly apologise to the migrants' community in South Africa for the loss of lives, destruction of property and the overall trauma that they had gone through. She also appealed to South African citizens and the international migrants to find ways of co-exist in the spirit of One Africa, cementing her status as a true Mother of The Nation.
Our heartfelt condolences go to the Mandela family, the African National Congress, the South African Parliament, all South African political parties, the South African President and his , Government, as well as the whole South African and migrant populations because Mama Winnie was a larger than life figure.
We are mourning with you in this dark hour that has befallen the whole of Africa and we say, Lala Ngokuthula mama wethu. You fought a good fight and we shall always remember you and your love, which transcended borders and reached all corners of this great continent.
To all South Africans and Africans we say Alwehlanga Lungehlanga. Your loss is shared by us all.
Why South Africa’s Undocumented Teens Are Dropping Out of School
posted on 8 March 2018
Thousands of undocumented children in South Africa have been unable to graduate since a government directive last summer. Advocates argue they’re being punished for their parents’ actions. Mxolisi Ncube meets migrant students whose professional dreams have been dashed.
JOHANNESBURG – Silindile Ndlovu was weeks away from finishing high school when she discovered she would not be able to sit end-of-term exams alongside her class mates. As a native Zimbabwean, 18-year-old Ndlovu found out she would have to produce papers proving her right to remain in South Africa to register for the exams.
Ndlovu had been living in Johannesburg since she was 11 years old, but like thousands of other undocumented minors living in the country she has no papers. Her family crossed into South Africa when Ndlovu’s father died and her mother came in search of work. They settled in Hillbrow, an inner-city suburb of Johannesburg.
“My mother couldn’t register us on the system because her asylum application was rejected. Several attempts for her to get a work permit also failed,” says Ndlovu. “We kept hoping something would change along the way so we continued going to school.”
Ndlovu hoped to enroll in medical school and become the first person in her family to qualify as a doctor. But without passing the school-leaver exams, known as the National Senior Certificate, Ndlovu would not be able to apply for university or continue her education. She’s been working illegally in a restaurant in Johannesburg ever since.
There were an estimated 1.5 million undocumented migrants living in South Africa at the end of 2016, according to a community survey by Statistics South Africa. Around…
Read the full article
the brutal killing of Baraka
posted on 3 March 2018
Following the brutal killing of Baraka, a PhD student at the University of Johannesburg on February 23, very little has been done for justice to be served. The police are now trying to hide the truth. The University of Johannesburg also has not said a word about this murder. You might think it is an accident, but it's not at all. Baraka was chased and killed in very cruel circumstances and in cold blood. We are coordinating a gathering at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) Sophiatown campus on Monday 5th March 2018 at 11h00 to honour the memory of Baraka. BARAKA for justice! Justice for BARAKA!
The African Diaspora Forum (ADF).
Home Affairs’ Comments On Asylum Seekers Are Xenophobic
posted on 17 February 2018
The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) read with shock and dismay the quotes attributed to the Home Affairs Director of asylum seeker management, Mandla Madumisa and Advocate Maemo Machete during last week’s hearing by the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) in Johannesburg. The quotes were published in the News24 dated 10 February 2018. Obviously out to save face for the institutional ill-treatment that the department of home affairs (DHA) officials continue to dish out to asylum seekers and refugees, the duo claimed that most asylum seekers are not people fleeing war-torn countries for safety, but young males seeking better economic opportunities, writes MARC GBAFFOU.
We find this very absurd, especially coming from officials in whose hands the fate of desperate asylum seekers and refugees are placed. This confirms the remarks by the Lawyers for Human Rights that the DHA is xenophobic.
There can be no gainsaying the fact that most of the people coming to this country are fleeing deep-rooted crises in their home countries. Many factors continue to push people, especially Africans, out of their countries of origin. These include but are not limited to human rights abuses, war, political unrest and religious conflict etc.
It is therefore quite ridiculous for the two DHA officials to show this kind of ignorance on such a highly-respected platform. This kind of denial speaks volumes of the preconceived ideas home affairs officials have when handling asylum requests and could explain the high number of rejections, the backlog, corruption, and continued arrests of refugees as they try to legalise their stay in South Africa.
With this level of ignorance, which seems to be somehow deliberate, coming from the officials, you are left with no wonder as to why the levels of ill-treatment of refugees and asylum seekers; rejection and corruption continue to soar in South Africa. You also tend to wonder what kind of briefing these senior officials give to their subordinates regarding both the treatment of asylum seekers and refugees, and the handling of their applications and appeals.
The ADF has received reports and witnessed cases in which refugees and asylum seekers are forced to endure harassment, assault, and various other forms of ill-treatment in the hands of guards, DHA officials, and the police while trying to apply for or renew their asylum seekers’ permits and the latest comments by the two DHA officials have now given us a clue as to where this institutional hate is coming from.
The preconceived ideas also give reasons to why the ADF has failed in its several attempts to hold dialogue with the DHA about the issue since 2016.
extracted from The Daily Vox
Human rights abuses in southern Cameroon
posted on 13 February 2018
The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) is worried about the Human Rights abuses in Southern Cameroon and the thousands of Asylum Seekers and Refugees currently produced from that part of our continent. The report that we are getting cannot leave us undisturbed. We are calling for a Press Conference and inviting the media community this Wednesday 14th February
Date: 14th February 2018
Venue: 13th Floor Devonshire Hotel, Braamfontein, Johannesburg
REQUEST FOR GENERAL AMNESTY TO ALL UNDOCUMENTED IMMIGRANTS
posted on 12 February 2018
His Excellency The President of the Republic of South Africa,
The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) would firstly like to thank the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) for working tirelessly to make sure that poor people, vulnerable groups and minority groups have a voice in South Africa. This is a critical role for a young democracy of only 24 years.
We however believe that this kind and generous human rights gesture would get dampened and blight the goodwill of the South African Government if some of the things happening in the country are not taken into check, particularly the systematic treatment that immigrants sometimes go through in this country.
It is therefore, against this background that the African Diaspora Forum(ADF) would like to express, through your office, its deepest request to the South African Government, the South African Human Rights Commission, all major opposition political parties and Major Trade Unions in the country, a review or the lives of immigrants already living in South Africa.
In South Africa many immigrants are facing challenges in schools, higher learning institutions like Universities, hospitals, banks, the business sector etc.
Among them are Asylum seekers who, despite being determined to legalize their stay in this country and contribute to both its bid to maintain law and order, as well as its economy, cannot do so because they are turned away at the different Refugee Reception Offices. Many immigrants are therefore, forced to use public services illegally.
The South African Government is not sure of the correct statistics of undocumented immigrants who are in the country, and this has given a leeway for some officials to thumb-suck figures based on speculation. In many instances, the perpetrators of xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals are accusing the victims of being in the country illegally and using public services illegally.
Government Departments responsible for proper national planning need to have the correct figures of the number of people they are serving. In worse cases, undocumented immigrants who want to leave the country are being arrested at the country's borders or airports. This is continuously putting an unnecessary burden on government resources, which are already stretched beyond limit. Some unscrupulous employers are also taking advantage of the situation of undocumented immigrants to use them for cheap labour, alternatively dismiss them when they no longer have any use for their services.
Many immigrants' kids cannot go to school because their parents are illegal in this country, making the children illegal as well. Although the South African Constitution stipulates that every child has a right to education, some children of immigrants have continuously been denied this rights. We have witnessed this even in many cases where one of the spouses is South African citizen.
In some of the hospitals, reports to our office indicate that many illegal immigrants – some in serious need of urgent care, have been turned away, resulting in….
Read the full letter
posted on 31 January 2018
As you are all aware, our organisation – just like any other, can only survive and do well on the contribution of its members.
A number of people in this group are seemingly enjoying the chats and information posted here. We have made calls for people to come and pay their membership fee and/or renew their membership, but some have continued to ignore those calls. This leaves us no option but to open a new group with members who complied on their membership fee.
The ADF will therefore, soon be opening a new WhatsApp group reserved only for those members who are fully registered and have paid their fees! All important messages will be circulated in that group with bona fide ADF members in good standing.
Not all is lot though. You still have a chance to pay and become a member. Please register online through our website Join ADF and pay R100. Come to the office and collect your membership card, bring R25 for service fee.
Please request an invoice for any payment, as your tracking number will be written on your invoice.
You may also pay directly to our account:
Bank: First National Bank
Name: African Diaspora Forum
Thank you very Much
Since the launch of "Operation Fiela II"…
posted on 26 January 2018
Since the launch of "Operation Fiela II", the African Diaspora Forum’s offices have been inundated by calls from migrants, raising complaints of victimisation by the police and other law-enforcement agencies involved in the operation.
The ADF is currently campaigning to fight crime from all corners of our communities and will not tolerate any criminal activity committed either by foreign nationals or South African citizens. Equally, we are encouraging community members to report human rights abuses during the ongoing police raids, which have seemingly taken a new dimension of targeting foreign nationals instead of the operation’s ostensible purpose of targeting mainly criminals.
In order to discuss in details how to fight crime and to report human rights abuses, we are inviting everyone, especially community leaders, school principals, religious leaders, different stakeholders, to a meeting this coming Tuesday -
When: 30th January 2018
Where: African Diaspora Forum offices
27 Ellis Street corner Arthur Street
Please be on time. The meeting will last for only one hour and 30 minutes (1h30). Let's create a safe and conducive environment for all while respecting human rights.
NB. Communities are urged to report any criminal activity to our hotline 24/7, Tel: +27842742844 or Email:
Our slogan: Crime has no nationality.
Email to the Chairperson
posted on 21 January 2018
Dear Mr Gbaffou
I trust this email finds you well? Firstly, I would like to wish you, the ADF and all your members compliments for the New Year. I hope that 2018 will be a prosperous and blessed year for you all and we look forward to building even stronger relations in the coming months.
Earlier this week, Mayor Mashaba wrote a very powerful column which appeared on News24. It speaks to the failure of the South African government to embrace skilled foreigners in our country and especially those who are educated at South African universities. The Mayor uses a very personal story to illustrate this and shows his commitment to education of youth, no matter their origin.
Given your status in the migrant community in Johannesburg and across South Africa, I thought you would be interested in reading the piece: (see link below)
I would also like to update you on the Home Affairs matter. We are in the process of forming an Inter-Governmental Joint Committee with the Department to develop a plan to address migration challenges in the City. I would welcome any inputs from the ADF that you would like us to raise in the Committee. I will also commit to keeping you updated on any progress being made.
Director: Legal Services, Private Office of the Executive Mayor
Investing in education
Press Statement, about Donald Trump's Utterances
posted on 19 January 2018
The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) is dismayed at the recent disparaging remarks made by the United States of America's President, Donald Trump.
We find President Trump's comments, who described African nations, Haiti and El Salvador as “shithole countries” not only indicative of the USA President’s unbecoming conduct as an international leader, but also as an insight to his racist, xenophobic and poking behaviour that is obviously aimed at sparking global conflict.
We recommend a diplomatic protest over President Donald Trump's "shithole countries" comments.
The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) condemns the comments in the strongest terms. We demand that Mr Trump retract as well as apologise, not only to the Africans, but to all people of African descent around the globe.
While commending the efforts of African countries like South Africa, Senegal, Botswana, who have swiftly responded by demanding an explanation from their American Embassy or condemning Trump's comments, we would also like to urge all other African countries who host US embassies to do same.
It is so disheartening and shocking to note that at a time when the world should be moving towards total civilisation driven by racial, religious and cross-national tolerance and respect for one another, we still find a leader with an archaic mind and outdated philosophy by hate that is obviously built on stereotypes.
It is unfortunate that since he assumed power, President Trump has lived up to his pre-election image of a selfish and hate-driven man with a potential to not only isolate America from the rest of the world, but also a penchant to spark unnecessary outrage that is likely to change the world order.
President Trump has ticked all the wrong boxes since the beginning of his current term, proving to the world at large what a sorry excuse for a President he is. What makes him even worse as a tragedy awaiting to happen is his status in charge of one of the most powerful nations on earth. An ignorant, hate-filled person of Trump’s calibre in charge of both economic and military arsenal is a ticking time bomb that needs to be diffused, although playing to his gallery would lead to a serious world war with dire consequences.
Whilst we do not deny that some African heads of states' medieval leadership qualities that have further enslaved rather than free their citizens from both political and economic bondage, Mr. Trump as American President should be the last person to denigrate African nations on a generalisation. The reason is because his country is one of those responsible for creating and sponsoring some of the political conflicts on the continent, based on its neo-colonial interests.
We therefore urge African nations to pressure USA embassies in their land to demand an apology from Trump, while also making it known that we recommend that President Trump be regarded as a prohibited immigrant until such a time that he explains, withdraws or apologizes for his misplaced comments.
Africans, through both slavery and choices made, sacrificed a lot to help build America to its current status as a world super-power and it is therefore, only an ignorant leader like President Trump who can either not know or choose to deliberately ignore such.
Coming home, it is such comments by disdainful leaders like President Trump that should unite African leaders in self-introspection and stock-taking, aimed at finding lasting solutions to the political and socio-economic problems that keep on producing African refugees and asylum seekers who eventually flood other countries – drawing such insulting comments decades after most countries in the continent freed themselves from colonial rule.
We call on African governments to revolutionarise the African image by prioritising African people and benefiting all Africans with the continent's resources regardless of political affiliation, ethnicity or any other divisive criteria. We request that states endeavour to compete with the world in terms of a range of more positive initiatives in human rights, development and economics.
African Diaspora Forum (ADF) /Moroccan Association of South Africa(MASA) Round table Breakfast
posted on 03 January 2018
African Diaspora Forum (ADF) /Moroccan Association of South Africa(MASA) Round table Breakfast discussion on Morocco's return to African Union; Morocco's process to integrate ECOWAS and its bilateral trade agreements with fellow African countries
The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) and the Moroccan Association in South Africa (MASA) jointly held a round-table breakfast discussion on the advantages and challenges of Morocco's imminent return to the African Union and its integration to ECOWAS.
The discussion, which attracted dozens of experts, diplomats, journalists, migrant leaders, scholars, analysts and Africans at large in Mayfair on 26th December 2017, also looked at Morocco’s bilateral trade agreements with fellow African countries.
The round-table was part of a series of events that the ADF is running to help its members understand meaningful events shaping the African continent, giving a platform for various African countries to expose and present their policies and politics to a Pan-African audience.The panellists included Mr Koffi Kouakou, a consultant and a former lecturer at Wits School of Governance at Wits University; Othman Mouane, a PhD student at Wits University, Mr Salman Khan, President of South African Foreigner Trade Union, Marc Gbaffou, Chairperson of the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) and Mr Ahmed Habiballah, the Chairman of MASA. Also invited was the Moroccan embassy in South Africa, represented by Mr. Abdelkader NAJI Charge d'Affaires, who came as an observer at the roundtable at the insistence of the civil society leaders.
The productive and informative gathering and indeed the discussions were centred on Morocco and its recent return to the African Union (AU) after 33 years of absence, as well as its process of integrating the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). Verbally showcased were the roles that Morocco is playing and intends to play – bilaterally with fellow individual African countries and in the broader regional and continental groupings like ECOWAS and the AU in the 21st century.
The analysts also visited the model Morocco sets up in terms of integrating African migrants and gave nuanced and complex historical insights into the burning issue of the Western Saharan conflict that had limited the Moroccan role in Africa for decades. The discussion was lively, people were not shy to ask difficult questions to the panelists, organisers and Embassy representative, and the conversation was deep, constructive and insightful.
Catching the memories of the participants was the historical facts of tight relationships that have always existed between the African countries and Morocco, which showed that the North African country’s return to the AU was necessary and evident, due to the importance that Africa represents to Morocco, and the importance of Morocco to Africa.
In his presentation, Mr Ahmed Habiballah revisited a study prepared by a special committee within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) which noted the benefits of Morocco’s admission – unanimously endorsed by heads of state, to the economic community of the regional grouping, albeit adding that the question of the Sahara conflict had potential to somehow create division among the member states. ECOWAS however, pledged to think about how to manage the conflict.
Of special mention was the economic benefits of adding Morocco, which would increase investments in the region, facilitate the free movement of people and property, the right of residence, the single currency, the Common Foreign Tariff and the technical aspects of the relations between Morocco and ECOWAS member states, which would however, require a transitional period for a successful process.
On political, peace and security issues, the study noted that Morocco’s military capabilities, equipment and economic achievements would be an added value to promote the peace, security and stability in the region, particularly in peacekeeping operations, combating terrorism, violent extremism, maritime security and conflict resolution mediation.
Morocco’s economy could enhance macro-economic stability of ECOWAS and support economic convergence among its 15 countries. In 2016, more than 37 per cent of Moroccan exports went to…
Read the full document
Right of response
posted on 20 December 2017
Dear Mr Savious Kwinika, the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) has read your article dated 26th December 2017 and entitled "West Africa: Morocco Desperate to Salvage Contentious ECOWAS Bid.", that was published online and also reprinted in national newspapers including the Star Newspaper in South Africa. We read your article with great disappointment, as we do not believe the article accurately and honestly depicts nor represents what happened in the roundtable it claims to describe. The roundtable, organised in Mayfair on the 26th of December 2017, was called by the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) in partnership with the Moroccan Association of South Africa (MASA). This roundtable is part of a series of events that the ADF is running to help its members understand meaningful events shaping our continent, and giving a platform for various African countries to expose and present their policies and politics to a Pan-African audience.
As panelists, the ADF and the MASA jointly invited Mr Koffi Kouakou, a consultant and a former lecturer at Wits School of Governance at Wits University; Othman Mouane a PhD student at Wits University; Mr Salman Khan, President of South African Foreigner Trade Union; Marc Gbaffou, Chairperson of the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) and Mr Ahmed Habiballah Chairman of MASA. We also invited the Moroccan Embassy in South Africa, as an observer to attend the roundtable. Initially, the Embassy didn't want to be part of the event, which was a civil society initiative, but we insisted given the fact that some members wanted clarity from an official perspective, on some of the aspects of the discussion.
The audience, consisted of African community leaders, academics, activists, unionists, ... and journalists. This mixed audience came to learn about Morocco and its recent return to the African Union (AU) after 33 years of absence, as well as its process of integrating the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). It was a very productive and informative meeting about the key roles that Morocco is playing and intends to play in Africa in the 21st century, the model it sets up in terms of integrating African migrants, but also about providing more nuanced and complex historical insights into the burning issue of the Western Saharan conflict that has been limiting the Moroccan role in Africa for decades. The discussion was lively, people were not shy to ask difficult questions to the panelists, organisers and Embassy representative, and the conversation was deep, constructive and insightful.
It is unfortunate that your article failed to talk about all the positive aspects of the roundtable, choosing instead to give a sensationalist heading to attract attention. This heading has little to do with the intention, content and effect of the roundtable on its participants. Whilst it is the role of journalists to be critical and read between the lines, the actual content of the article does not offer any evidence to back the sensationalist heading chosen.
We would like to use this opportunity to inform the African continent and the rest of the world that as the African Diaspora Forum (ADF), we are impressed to see that countries like Morocco are taking the plight of Africans seriously: investing in other African countries, offering numerous bursaries to African students of all languages and origins to study in Morocco, facilitating the integration of African migrants who arrive and settle in Morocco. Sub-Saharan Africans still have a lot to learn about this fellow African country. We are inviting anyone interested in the real content of the discussion to read the full report on our website (www.adf.org.za).
ADF Press Release
posted on 20 December 2017
On Friday December 15, the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) took stock of 2017, with officials of the migrant's rights organisation reminiscing on a very hectic, yet productive year gone by.
The statement and report was shared and presented at two special events that took place during the day.
The first event took place at the Embo Nation's offices in Bramley, Johannesburg and was attended by representatives of various organizations that strive to promote African Unity. The organisations included rational Pan -African movements and those fighting against Xenophobia and Afrophobia. The event was also attended by the ADF’s senior leadership and Embo Kingdom's representatives, led by King Bhungane III, from Mpumalanga.
This meeting forged a formal partnership between the two groups, which will tentatively be formally announced to the World in January 2018. The Partnership will develop a plan of action to advance critical issues affecting migrants in South Africa and around the continent, such as xenophobia, the Slave Trade and Human Trafficking in Libya, against which partnership recently organized a March resulting in the presentation of a Memorandum of demand to the South African Presidency, European Union, Pan African Parliament, African Union and Libyan authorities.
The second event was the ADF end of the year party, held inside the organisation’s offices in Yeoville and attended by ADF Executive Committee, the Head of the European Union Commission to South Africa, Ambassador Marcus Cornaro, King Bhungane III of the Embo Nation, a wide range of representatives from different African communities and formations in South Africa and African at large.
In his remarks, ADF Chairperson Mr. Marc Gbaffou stated that “the concerns and interests of our brothers and sisters in South Africa and around the Continent are of critical interest to ADF”. That is why the Slave Trade in Libya energized us to organize the March to Union Building with limited resources and within a very short time.
“This past year we have engaged decision makers in South Africa and throughout the continent to defend and protect the interests of our people. We have scored some successes, but we still have a lot of work to do as we go into the next year. We would like to thank everyone who has supported our work and we look forward to the next year as we build on our past success and forge new partnerships.” said Gbaffou.
The African Diaspora Forum is using this opportunity to wish you and your loved ones a merry Christmas as well as a Prosperous and Happy New Year 2018.
MARCH AGAINST SLAVE TRADE AND HUMAN TRAFFICKING IN LIBYA
(image :SAFTU General Secretary Zwelinzima Vavi and King Bhungane III of the Embo Nation.)
posted on 15 December 2017
We the people of the world, on the African Continent, represented here in South Africa by the African Diaspora Forum (ADF), Faith denominations and community based organisations, trade unions platforms and concerned citizens of the world, have come to you to express our indignation with regard to the ongoing slave trade and human trafficking in Libya;
We the citizens of the world, hereby demand your immediate intervention to stop this crime against humanity.
Our denouncement and indignation:
FROM THE SOUTH AFRICAN GOVERNMENT:
Intensify your public pronouncement to action. We demand an immediate stop to this inhumane acts on the part of the Libyan Government and their EU counterparts. South Africa, given your history and experience with apartheid and human injustice, it is our expectation that you will demonstrate ultimate leadership to denounce and bring a stop to this inhumane and barbaric practice.
FROM THE AFRICAN UNION:
This is the time for the African Union to show continental leadership and let the world know that we denounce and condemn this violation of human rights perpetrated against fellow Africans.
We demand that you demonstrate collective leadership and our concerns as Africans about the slave trade and human trafficking in Libya. We also demand that the African Union develops a consistent comprehensive and well-co-ordinated mobilisation programme that will free our fellow Africans in captivity. We hold you accountable for the freedom of the African people who have been held captive; The African Union to host an urgent meeting with the Libyan authorities to address the crisis.
FROM THE UNITED NATIONS:
We hold the United Nations accountable according to the Charter of the United Nations and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948, which seeks to”… reaffirm faith in fundamental human rights, in the equal rights of men and women and of nations large and small;
FROM THE PAN-AFRICAN PARLIAMENT:
As an oversight body for African governments, we urge you to exert pressure on the African Union, the North Africa Economic Region and the Libyan authorities to uphold values enshrined in The African Charter for People and Human Rights (The Banjul Charter);
TO THE LIBYAN AUTHORITIES:
- That you stop with immediate effect the slave trade in your backyard.
- That you take measures to ensure that such atrocities do not occur anymore within your borders.
- That you bring the perpetrators and their cohorts to book to face the full might of the law with immediate effect.
FROM THE EUROPEAN UNION:
To protect the Human Rights and dignity of African Migrants. Allow safe, responsible and legal migration. African Migrants to be welcomed the same way we welcome the European tourists or businessmen in Africa. Protect African asylum seekers and refugees who are willing to enter Europe.
The European Union must organize a public forum with civil society organizations and social formations to explore and develop effective strategies and programs of action to deal with the crisis. We are calling upon the European Union to invest in our youth when they are still alive than when they are perishing in the Mediterranean sea.
Europe must know that the refugee crisis can be greatly scaled down when it stops supporting dictators on the continent and invading countries thus creating fertile grounds for terrorists, to operate in a safe haven, the case of Libya. We call on European governments as those who helped create chaos in Libya to do the right thing and partner with the African Union and other key stakeholders to ensure stability and peace is found again in Libya. This will be a first step to ending the shameful trade of human beings. The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) is prepared to work with the European Union to help bring an end to this atrocity and violation of human rights.
Done in Pretoria on the 12th December 2017
Invitation to a March against the slave trade in Libya
posted on 03 December 2017
The African Diaspora Forum (ADF); Civil society organisations; churches; trade unions etc... would like to invite everyone of the general public to participate in a march against the ongoing inhuman acts of slave trade and human trafficking in Libya.
We believe that it is in the interest of every noble human being to abhor the archaic and barbaric behaviour being exuded by the slave traders and buyers, who are obviously using their financial muscles to abuse fellow human beings in this degrading manner.
Details for the march, which seeks to put pressure on African governments and the international community to act on this ungodly and outdated act of cruelty are as follows:
Date: 12 December 2017
Time: 10h00 to 14h00
Route: From Church Square to Union Buildings (Pretoria)
A memorandum to be submitted to the following bodies:
- The Presidency of South Africa
- Libyan Embassy to South Africa
- African Union
- Pan-African Parliament
- United Nations
Your presence and support of this noble cause would be highly appreciated as we know that you are among the custodians of humanity.
For more details please contact the following community leaders:
Mr. Marc Gbaffou (African Diaspora Forum): 0835147367
Mr. Tamiru (Ethiopian Community): 0742976205
Mr. Adetola Olubajo (Nigerian Union): 0748445042
Mr. Milton Taka (Cameroon community): 0826013225
Mr. Shukri Dies (Somali Association of South Africa): 0610066366
Mr. Ngqabutho Nicholas Mabhena (Zimbabwean Community): 0833401000
Mr. Dominic Chipwayira( Malawian Community): 0743259947
Chief Opa Jibro (Oromo people): 0619225533
Mr. Coulibaly Namogo ( Ivorian Community): 0785629601
Dr. Julianne Kanku Katombe (Congolese Community): 0651261508
ADF Statement on Slave Trade in Libya
posted on 29 November 2017
The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) learnt with shock and utter dismay that people are being sold as slaves in Libya.
Nothing could have come as a worse shock than learning that in the 21st century, the heinous trade in human beings, which was abolished centuries ago can still be practised by other human beings – worse in open-air slave markets, in our African continent.
As an organisation that partly exists to safeguard and protect human dignity, we were shocked to see footage from Libya, released recently by CNN, which showed young men from sub-Saharan Africa being auctioned off as farm workers in slave markets. We urge Libyan authorities, the African Union and the international community to intervene and stop this barbaric behaviour.
We call on authorities to ensure that a thorough investigation is opened immediately, to arrest those behind this kind of inhumane trade – both those selling and those buying fellow human beings and deal with them decisively. The investigations should also target the destinations and make sure those who have already been sold are accounted for, counselled and returned to their places of origin.
As members of the African Union (AU) and the European Union (EU) meet in Abidjan IN Ivory Coast this Wednesday 29th November 2017 for the African Union-European Union summit, we hope the two bodies will put this serious issue on the agenda, not just for talk, but also remedial action which will only stop the Libya debacle, but also prescribe sentences that will deter even those in other countries who may be contemplating doing the same.
Slavery was abolished and all those who seek a return to the era of degrading other human beings must be dealt with accordingly.
As the theme of the EU-AU meeting has the theme “Investing in youth for a sustainable future”, the best way the youth can be invested in is when they are given the dignity they deserve, not when they are subjected to inhuman acts like what is happening in Libya.
We hope the summit will address the issues that end up exposing Africans to treacherous economic environment that leave them desperate for life as refugees abroad, for this is where these slave traders get the leeway to trade in human beings.
ADF Statement on the development in Zimbabwe
posted on 27 November 2017
The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) would like to congratulate the zimbabwean political leadership and President Emmerson Mnangagwa, the ruling Zanu (PF), Zimbabwean opposition parties and the people of Zimbabwe at large for their peaceful transition from President Robert Mugabe’s rule to a new order.
It has become rare for African countries to peacefully transit from one dispensation to the next, especially when the army has been involved. We salute the Zimbabwean Defense Force (ZDF) to have managed to ensure the power handover without any bloodshed and or loss of life, this shows the professional conduct that has been entrenched in their ranks and file. We applaud the ZDF’s act of allowing democratic marches on the streets in Zimbabwe during the process.
For at least a week during the transition, the ZDF showed that it is an army for the people.
We applaud the ruling Zanu-PF and opposition parties for acting in one voice to ensure that the will of the people finally prevailed and in the end, and President Mugabe left peacefully without any upheavals and violent clashes.
For the people of Zimbabwe, wild celebrations of Mugabe’s resignations were seen and felt all over the world and it really showed how suppressed they were under their former ruler. We however, applaud the manner in which the celebrations were carried out – with no incidents and with utmost respect for other people and property. It is very rare to see such scenes of jubilation go in such a peaceful manner.
With the new government sworn in, we salute and applaud the new President for not embarking on a witch-hunt with the former President Robert Mugabe. President Mnangagwa embraced and acknowledged the contribution of his predecessor. This is very important for the continuation of a nation building.
We now hope the Zimbabwean military will be allowed to withdraw and return to the barracks, while continuing to safeguard the interest of the people of Zimbabwe ahead of those of individuals and certain institutions.
Our wish is that the new President Emmerson Mnangagwa, while insuring the interim, continues to build on the newfound unity and jubilation that swept through all parts of the world where there are Zimbabweans, maintain the new culture of respecting human rights, work with opposition parties, civil society and all stakeholders to reform certain laws that are inimical to democracy and development as Zimbabweans work towards rediscovering the path to economic prosperity.
We are calling upon the economic community, the African continent and the rest of the world to come in and help rebuild one of our nations, Zimbabwe. The horizon is full of hope. Let's make the dream of millions of Zimbabweans a reality. Zimbabwe shall rediscover its glory.
EXCLUSIVE: ‘SA can learn a lot from Zimbabweans’ bloodless protests’
posted on 24 November 2017
SOUTH African nationals have praised their Zimbabwean counterparts for shunning violence during protests calling for the resignation of Robert Mugabe in recent days.
The aged politician on Tuesday succumbed to pressure from a disillusioned public to quit following the collapse of the economy and a deteriorating political crisis.
Some three (3) million Zimbabweans have sought refuge in South Africa, a country which on the contrary to the prevailing atmosphere in Zimbabwe, has suffered deadly violence during anti-government protests.
Property has been burnt, businesses looted and human life lost during the incessant protests, which have been commonplace since the administration of President Jacob Zuma came to power in 2009.
Mehleketo Thuso Letlhake from Dobsonville in Soweto hailed Zimbabweans for maintaining discipline despite years of abuse by the Mugabe regime.
“I salute the people of Zimbabwe for achieving such a great goal without spilling blood or burning buildings. South Africans can learn a lot from this,” Letlhake said.
He spoke after a “bloodless coup” by the army, which occurred last week, set the tone for the demise of Mugabe’s reign of 37 years at the helm.
Lebogang Manicus also praised the resolve of Zimbabweans in the face of tribulation.
“From the military taking over power, to the people maintaining peaceful protests over the years, Zimbabweans have been smart in dislodging Mugabe, as South Africans take a leaf out of their book by desisting from violent protests,” Manicus said.
Thousands of South African-based Zimbabweans thronged Johannesburg, Cape Town and Pretoria streets on Tuesday night to celebrate the resignation of Mugabe.
Ntombi Mtshaleka from Cofimvaba Eastern Cape, who witnessed the carnival atmosphere as Zimbabweans celebrated, said, “This appears a momentous day for Zimbabweans. One can see they are overexcited but still revel within the confines of the laws. If only we (South African) could be as disciplined through celebration and protests.”
The South African Parliament also lauded Zimbabweans.
“We also commend the restraint displayed by key institutions and ordinary citizens of Zimbabwe in what could have degenerated into an increasingly tense, protracted and troubled situation,” Parliament stated.
Source CAJ News
ADF Statement on the situation in Zimbabwe
posted on 20 November 2017
The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) would like to congratulate the Zimbabwe Defence Forces (ZDF) for their timely intervention in trying to resolve the long-standing Zimbabwean political crisis, which has cascaded to the economy and social being of that country.
While we do not condone the involvement of the military in national politics, we do understand that the Zimbabwean situation had reached damaging levels and would not have been resolved had the military not acted, as President Robert Mugabe’s government had relied on force and use of the security sector to thwart all forms of decent and pursuit for freedom by the people, leaving them with no democratic space to exercise their freedoms of expression, association and political choice, among others.
We also applaud the professional manner in which the ZDF has acted since Wednesday, noting that there has been very minimal, if any, loss of life or damage of property, while President Mugabe has also been treated with utmost respect since the intervention and during the negotiations.
The jubilation that has followed from members of the Zimbabwean community all over the world shows that the military’s action is highly viewed to be in the interests of the general population, hence the ADF’s standing on the side of Zimbabweans at this beginning of a new era.
We also hope that the SADC, AU and UN and the international community will stand by – and not interfere with, the people of Zimbabwe as they write a new chapter in their history. Where intervention happens, we hope that it would be on putting pressure on President Mugabe to lose power before the crisis escalates to a violent conflict that may result in loss of life and further destruction of the economy and property.
We know that there is still a long way to go, but we would like to sincerely request that the ZDF, political parties and the general populace of Zimbabwe put national interest and the will of the people at heart as they chart the way forward for that beautiful country.
Going forward, we hope that when the impasse is finally broken, the ZDF will return to the barracks and allow a wholly democratic process to allow Southern Africa’s former bread basket to rediscover itself and return to its glory days.
We appeal to the incoming interim Zimbabwean leaders to involve the people, civic groups, the opposition, religious groups, traditional leaders and all other stakeholders in returning Zimbabwe to democratic, civilian rule that will attract investment and allow for a swift return of that country’s exiles to rebuild their country.
The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) and the Mayor of Johannesburg Councillor Herman Mashaba signed a settlement agreement on 31 October 2017
posted on 06 November 2017
Mashaba makes up with migrant group‚ denounces xenophobia
Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba and the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) have reached a settlement‚ after the ADF laid a complaint at the South African Human Rights Commission earlier this year.
The ADF alleged that Mashaba had made comments that were xenophobic and had the propensity to fuel xenophobic attacks‚ which included that foreign nationals were responsible for criminality in Johannesburg.
The settlement has been described as “historic“.
One of the terms of the settlement is that the ADF will be joining the City of Joburg’s planned court application against the department of Home Affairs‚ as a friend of the court.
Marc Gbaffou ‚ chairperson of the ADF‚ said that this is “an historic moment for the migrants‚ who have been living in fear because of some statements“. He added that they had discussed Mashaba’s comments in the mediation process.
Read the full press relase
Joburg mayor clarifies stance on migrants
Johannesburg - Joburg mayor Herman Mashaba has maintained that migrants should remain under scrutiny despite the xenophobic allegations levelled against him.
“Let me make one thing clear; I am not calling for undocumented migrants to be immediately deported,” Mashaba told members of the media on Tuesday.
“What I’m doing is calling for the Department of Home Affairs to perform on their constitutional mandate to ensure that all those who qualify for asylum are processed and provided with their papers. Should individuals not qualify, or should they have committed crimes within our borders, then they should be sent home.”
The media briefing was hosted by the South African Human Rights Commission to publicise the signing of a settlement agreement between Mashaba and the African Diaspora Forum.
Read the full story
Watch the video
posted on 04 November 2017
SAHRC TO HOST PRESS BREIFING ON THE OUTCOME OF THE MEDIATION SESSION BETWEEN THE AFRICAN DIASPORA FORUM AND MAYOR HERMAN MASHABA
In February 2017, the South African Human Rights Commission (the Commission) received a complaint from the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) in which they alleged that the Mayor of the City of Johannesburg, Cllr Herman Mashaba had made comments that were xenophobic and had the propensity to fuel xenophobic attacks.
The ADF alleged that the Cllr Herman Mashaba, among others, made the following statements:
- That foreign nationals are responsible for criminality in the City of Johannesburg;
- That undocumented foreign nationals compound criminality and make it difficult for law enforcement to perform their duties and;
- That foreign nationals were holding the country to ransom.
The Commission in fulfilling its constitutional mandate of promoting and protecting human rights engaged with both the ADF and Cllr Mashaba and determined that this matter would be best resolved through a process of mediation.
Both parties were given a platform to recount their version of events and upon the conclusion of the mediatory discussion various terms of settlement were reached. These terms have given rise to a settlement agreement to be signed by the parties.
The Commission invites members of the media to a press briefing that will publicise the signing of the settlement agreement.
Read the full report…
HERITAGE DAY CELEBRATIONS, PRETORIA 24TH SEPTEMBER 2017
posted on 01 October 2017
The heritage day celebrations organised by the Gauteng Provincial Government, Carnival Company, and the City of Tshwane saw more than 30,000 people from across the country, the continent and the world coming together in their different cultures, race and colour to showcase their traditional attire, language, dance, belief and norms.
The African Diaspora Forum(ADF) is honoured to have been a key partner and was represented by the Chairperson Mr. Marc Gbaffou, the executive committee and general members of the organisation from different African communities. We will continue working using such an important platform to enforce social cohesion.
One of our heritage as Africans is and remains the warm welcome and hospitality to different people. Celebrating this day is one of the ways of protecting and preserving such heritage.
We would like to use this opportunity to thank Gauteng Premier Hon. David Makhura, for his incredible work in the province for enforcing peace and unity above our differences in heritage.
He made very important remarks that “the Gauteng Province is prepared to welcome everyone no matter his/her nationality or race; Africans should all pouch to have Swahili as one of their first language of communication… and concluded. _Asante Santa!!!”
JOHN OKAFOR (ALIAS MR. IBU) VISITED THE AFRICAN DIASPORA FORUM(ADF) HEADQUARTERS
posted on 17 September 2017
The African Diaspora Forum(ADF) was honoured yesterday 14th September 2017 by the visit of John Okafor (alias Mr Ibu), one of the greatest globally acclaimed comedian who convey the African message to the World through laughter.
The talented Nigerian Comedian is also a pan-Africanist activist. He wants to see, during his life time on this planet, the actual unity of African countries by breaking borders to allow free movement of people and goods in different parts of this old, mighty and rich Continent of Africa.
“African people should feel free to move to any part of their African continent of their choice, but on the only condition that we respect the laws and the rules of host countries” said Mr. Ibu, who deplored wars triggered dire sufferings still plaguing some parts of the Continent including the Democratic of Congo and South Sudan.
“We make people laugh while we tell them some meaningful nonsense” hammered Mr. Ibu with a stupid yet intelligent smile coupled with a deep sense of humour.
“Where is the OAU? Because I don't think the AU is working. If it is not working, then let us revive it”.
The African Diaspora Forum, the federation of migrants’ communities based in South Africa, that advocate for the integration and Social cohesion of all Africans seized this opportunity to partner and work with Mr. Ibu in matters that advance the collaboration, the integration and the unity of all African people.
In a near future, a memorandum of understanding will be signed between both parties in the aspects mentioned above in a form of awareness and sensitisation campaigns to deepen the struggle for the Pan-African Integration.
STATEMENT BY MINISTER MKHIZE
posted on 10 September 2017
ON THE CLOSURE OF THE ZIMBABWEAN SPECIAL PERMIT (ZSP) AND THE OPENING OF THE NEW ZIMBABWEAN EXEMPTION PERMIT (ZEP)
Ladies and gentlemen, good day, and once more welcome, and thank you for attending. The purpose of the media briefing is to announce the expiry, on 31 December 2017, of the Zimbabwean Special Permit (ZSP) which started in 2014, and was issued for a period of three years. The total number of ZSP permits issued was 197 941.
We hereby announce the opening of the new Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP). Learning from the wisdom of the finest son of the South African revolution, OR Tambo, we do this in the spirit of international solidarity, conscious of the political imperative to build peace and friendship in the continent and in the whole world.
CONTEXT OF THE NEW ZEP DISPENSATION
We believe that migrants play an important role in respect of economic development and enriching social and cultural life.
We remain conscious of the value of this approach. For instance, these dispensations have assisted in enhancing national security and the orderly management of migration.
This dispensation will assist greatly in advancing the objectives of the National Development Plan, Vision 2030 particularly in respect of the focus on the economy, attracting critical skills into the country and ensuring transfer of skills to our citizens for better employment prospects.
This approach is in line with the new White Paper on International Migration Policy which was approved by Cabinet early this year.
The White Paper on International Migration Policy provides a roadmap towards the implementation of the African Union Agenda 2063 in relation to the facilitation of movement of persons on the continent for the promotion of trade, development, transfer of skills and social cohesion through cultural integration.
The African Diaspora Forum(ADF) is offering a small stipend per hour and looking for members who could assist in the following languages as translators:
These efforts will assist in addressing the flows of labour from our neighbours in the SADC region.
This process adds to our goal of developing a new national identity system which will require that, through a secure population register, we know for certain who is in the country. This will help government in dealing with issues of irregular migration.
CONDITIONS OF THE NEW ZIMBABWEAN EXEMPTION PERMIT DISPENSATION
Read the full report…
Current situation of migration and mobility in the SADC Region
posted on 21 August 2017
The Migration Cluster of the SADC People’s Summit met at Constitution Hill on 17th August 2017 to discuss the current situation of migration and mobility in order to make recommendation to Heads of State Summit that will take place in Pretoria the 19th August 2017
People of SADC gathered at the Summit have noticed what follows:
- A mistrustful and unlawful attitude towards migrants
- A shrinking space for migration
- Difficulties of permits renewal for asylum seekers and refugees
- Children born to migrants' statelessness
- Incidence of xenophobia in some countries
- Forcing documented migrants to illegality
- No proper training and capacity building for refugee reception officers
- Unequal and bad treatment of migrants' teachers and learners SADC counties schools
- Sport competitions and Churches not used enough to foster social cohesion
- Rejection of migrants in some SADC countries’ healthcare facilities
- SADC to facilitate people's free movement like in ECOWAS & East African Community
- SADC should extend the right of mobility to the people of DR Congo in same way as it does for other citizen of the block
- SADC should fight human trafficking in the region
- There should not be stateless children in the SADC region
- SADC should institute a regional passport to facilitate the mobility of her citizens
- SADC Countries should document her citizens to avoid putting them on illegal status
- Strategies and policies for social cohesion should be taken more seriously with special emphasis on education
- There should be an engagement at regional policy level in order to reconsider migration policies which could stop criminalising SADC citizens and emphasize the benefit of working together so as to embrace diversity
- SADC should harmonise its asylum seekers and refugees' protection, policies, laws and practices
- SADC should implement the Standardisation of labour practices to discourage and prevent corporations from employing cheap labour and exploiting non-nationals
- SADC member countries should stop discriminating to allow SADC citizens access to human rights and basic public services
- Major event in SADC countries such as Africa Day should be used as a tool to educate and promote unity in the region
- SADC should encourage her citizens to contribute to the development of their host countries
- A module on xenophobia and discrimination should be included on the SADC countries educational curriculum
- SADC should encourage Heads of State to respect their term limits in office and good governance
- SADC countries should include asylum seekers, refugees and migrants in their national healthcare and education policies
PRESS RELEASE ON RECKLESS REMARKS BY THE DEPUTY MINISTER OF POLICE AND THE MAYOR OF JOHANNESBURG
posted on 01 August 2017
The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) strongly condemns the recent reckless remarks by the Deputy-Minister of Police, Hon. Bongani Mkongi and the Executive Mayor of the city of Johannesburg, Clr. Herman MASHABA addressed to the public a few days ago.
Mr. Mkongi on Friday 14th July during a press conference at Hillbrow police station, alleged that foreign nationals are currently occupying 80% of Hillbrow and its surrounding areas. It would have been better and smarter of him to provide the public with his source(s) of statistics. We are advising him to go and check the official figures of the last census. The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) is prepared to provide him with the correct figures in case he doesn't find them.
On the other hand, the Executive Mayor of Johannesburg Herman Mashaba on 27th July cynically hammered that no foreign nationals legal or illegal will benefit from the State housing scheme. For that matter, we would like to remind the Mayor, that foreign nationals have no such expectations to be provided free houses. We rather encourage him to provide the much needed services he promised the electorate without using migrants as an excuse for his failures. We are advising the Democratic Alliance (DA), if Xenophobia is not their strategy to gain power, Mayor Herman Mashaba should be disciplined like they did the Western Cape Premier Helen Zille when she tweeted on colonialism.
The worry of all migrants' communities is that such reckless remarks may incite more xenophobic violence, contempt for others, hatred towards migrants who seek nothing but a country of refuge. Hence the necessity of not accepting such statements in a society confronted with the migratory phenomenon. Because we all are mindful there are several rational and relevant explanations for the twenty first century's migration: dictatorship, human rights abuse, wars, famine, persecution as well as socio-economic reasons…
The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) is astounded as to why a government official would render such a fire kindling statement in a society that already faced hatred, antecedents in recent past? Are foreign nationals unwelcome in South Africa? The current increase in attacks on foreign nationals in the country can easily be attributed to Xenophobia not being criminalised. We appeal to South African authorities to take strict measures on any type of discrimination whatsoever. This will discourage any perpetrator.
We are all aware that South Africa in general, and the city of Johannesburg in particular, is everyday faced with many pressing social challenges such as poverty, unemployment, inequality and corruption to name but a few. These are the key issues on which the political debates should focus on, instead of uttering xenophobic statements that would likely stir another spate of attacks on foreign nationals.
We therefore urge authorities to avoid making xenophobic remarks that neither foster social cohesion, nor solve their political problems. Because we are all mindful that the presence of migrants is not synonymous with usurpation of the rights of the nationals nor taking possession of their homeland.
We appeal to some South African authorities to show some restraint and dissociate foreign nationals with their political accountability to the citizens of South Africa, political manipulation, and make sure daily social problems are put first instead of finding scapegoats.
So, we vigorously say no to hate speech and xenophobic statements that tend to jeopardise lives of non-nationals who found refuge in the Republic of South Africa.
The African Diaspora Forum (ADF)
Mr. Johnson Emeka, Head of communication and Public Relations.
africa day 2017 celebrations posted on 29 May 2017
Marc Gbaffou: African Diaspora Forum (ADF) wishes to thank the General Public and the Republic of South Africa for a successful Africa Week
Celebrations from 20th to 27th May 2017. This year's celebrations saw on a parade over 10000 participants on the streets of Hillbrow,
Berea and Yeoville. We cannot salute enough the tenacious resolve of the ADF members for the show of Strength and Unity, nor the Unity of Purpose
exihibited by the migrant community and Her leaders. To our Partners - Cannival Company, United Proactive Artists, CCFD-Terre Solidaire,
SABC Channel-Africa, National Department of Arts & Culture and more importantly the Gauteng Provincial Government, we heap loads of gratitude.
To our resource organisations like FoundatIons for Human Rights, Lawyers for Human Rights, Johannesburg Holocaust Genocide & Centre, Institute of
Higher Learnings, we appreciate your candid contributions. Heads of Missions and the Diplomatic Corp especially The French embassy and consul General
of France in Johannesburg, the consul General of Nigeria in Johannesburg, and German embassy that showed practical solidarity we remain indebted.
The South African Police Services who added a great value to the event with the police brass band and the drill squad. To the scintillating participants,
entertainers/food vendor's we are proud of you all. hoping that our social cohession objectives will be achieved in due course. We once more give kudos
to the Media Franternity and the Host Community & Government we cannot thank you all enough. We pledge and Endeavour to remain Steadfast to our
Objectives and mandate irrespective of our challenges. We however have resolved to be the Change we desire.
Africa Week 2017 kicks off posted on 21 May 2017
Yesterday 20th May 2017, the African Diaspora Forum (ADF), Carnival Company (CC), in partnership with the Gauteng Provincial Goverment, kicked start Africa Week activities at 8h30 at Barnato High school in Berea.
Yesterday we had:
- The commemoration of the 2008-2017 xenophobic attacks with candle lighting in memory of people who lost their lives, those who were injured, those who lost their belongings during the attacks.
- We had social cohesion soccer with the victory of the Nigerian team who won the cup. Soccer Legends who participated :
- Fabian Macathy
- Jimy Tau
- Naughty Mokoena
- Mathew Booth
- Jabulani Mendu
- Mumendzo Manedze
- Sashi Chalwe
- Bunene Ngaduane
- Michael Babale
Invitation, Media briefing: Africa Week Carnival and Festival 2017 posted on 14 May 2017
The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) in partnership with the Gauteng Provincial Government, is organising Africa Week Carnival and Festival from the 20th to the 27th May 2017.
The Africa Week Carnival and Festival is a multicultural event that aims at promoting human rights and social cohesion. It is an ideal platform to combat all forms of discrimination including racism, sexism and xenophobia.
As African people we have many things to celebrate together owing to the fact we are a diverse but united Continent under the umbrella of the African Union (AU). Africa Week Carnival and Festival will line up an array of events including commemoration of various spates of xenophobic attacks on the 20th May 2017 and Africa Day Celebration on 27th May 2017.
We therefore cordially invite you to come and cover this Pan African Festival that will pull together South African authorities and citizens, the diplomatic corps, the migrants’ communities, as well as local and non national artists.
The recent upsurge of violent attacks on…
Read the full document
- 17th May 2017
- 11h30 for 12h00
- Constitutional Hill, 12 Kortze Street, Braamfontein, JHB
- For more information, please contact:
- Mr Johnson EMEKA - 072 172 7393
Mr Prince ABENGE - 081 747 9779
Serge Babylas de SOUZA - 078 474 8581
laws guiding foreigners in Togo posted on 08 May 2017
A seminar by the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) in Togo to sensitize about the laws guiding foreigners in Togo and ECOWAS laws guiding migrants.
DODGY: Money used to buy extra days for Zimbabweans… posted on 24 April 2017
Unscrupulous immigration officers employed by the Department of Home Affairs at the Beitbridge port of entry are working in cahoots with touts and bus drivers in the sale of entry stamps to desperate travellers visiting South Africa from Zimbabwe.
A New Age team working under cover witnessed a traveller, who had been denied entry into the country, returning with a tout and able to pay an immigration official R200 in exchange for a 30-day visitor’s visa.
According to VFS Global, the company contracted by the department to process visa applications, Zimbabweans are visa exempt if they are visiting the country for 90 days or less on business or tourism purposes.
However, in terms of the scam Zimbabwean passport holders are granted the bare minimum days, in some cases three days, rather than the 90 days entry allowed.
According to the touts this creates a situation where immigration officials are bribed to grant a visitor the full 90 days entry stamp.
Undercover video footage taken by the news team on Saturday shows a female tout tucking two R100 notes into the traveller’s passport before walking straight to the immigration counter. In less than a minute, the traveller was granted permission to stay in the country for 30 days and he headed straight to the exit gate.
“I’ve had to pay R200 to get 30 days because I had been denied any days. They told me I wouldn’t be able to get days because I was in South Africa on Thursday. I was left with no choice but to pay the money so that I can go and do business in Louis Trichardt,” he said.
Another immigration officer approached after the exchange explained that a visitor could not be allowed back into the country before they spent seven days in their own country of residence.
On Friday evening, this news team walked straight through the border gate to the immigration desk without any form of identification and were approached by two male touts.
“I can get you 90 days stamped on your passport, but I charge R600 for that because I’ve to pay an immigration official that I work with. Don’t be afraid, I’ll go with you to the counter and we won’t have to queue,” the tout, who identified himself as Elias said.
Elias said he successfully bribed officials for clients at least 15 times a day. According to home affairs statistics, 20000 people cross the Beitbridge border every day.
On Saturday, the news crew met five other agents involved in the same illicit business.
A cross-border trader, who operates between Zimbabwe and Johannesburg, said she often paid bus drivers to get days even when she exceeded her 90 days.
“I often pay for days because I spend an average of a month in Johannesburg where I sell Zimbabwe products. When my days are finished I go back home for stock. So I usually give a bus driver money and they pay the immigration officials on my behalf,” she said.
A bus driver with a renowned cross-border transport company also confirmed he was able to facilitate the issuing of a 30-day visitor’s visa.
On Friday, the African Diaspora Forum independently asked its members who had previously paid for days, to come forward and report it so they could take up the issue with the Department of Home Affairs.
The forum chairperson Marc Gbaffou said the issue was disappointing and needed urgent attention from authorities.
“There has to be a clear policy to determine how days are given otherwise we will always have a situation whereby immigration officers abuse the system for their gain,” he said.
Gbaffou also warned foreign nationals to desist from taking advantage of the loopholes in the system.
“You don’t come to South Africa and when you see some loopholes you abuse them. People must refrain from such practices.”
Limpopo police spokesperson Lt Col Moatshe Ngoepe said they were not aware of the border corruption and had never arrested anyone in connection with it.
Zimbabwe consul general, Henry Mukonoweshuro, however, said they had raised the issue with the cross-border migration management stakeholders forum. The forum includes immigration, the police, social services and other line ministries from Zimbabwe and South Africa.
“We have raised that issue at the cross-border stakeholders forum and we were basically asking why they don’t give people reasonable days if they explain what they are coming to do. We know at the airport you’re given 90 days but at the border the officials use their discretion,” Mukonoweshuro said.
Jozi Solidarity March against Xenophobia and racism posted on 01 April 2017
The Coalition against Xenophobia ( Several Civil society organisations; Government Officials; Concerned South African Citizens; Unions; Different stakeholders, African community leaders) had a Jozi solidarity march against Xenophobia and racism on the 28th of March 2017 . Hundreds of people took to the streets to show solidarity. Among the participants was the Gauteng Premier David Makhura who has always been supportive in the fight against xenophobia. The Premier, in the key note address said that Africans who are rejected by the United States of America and Europe are welcome in the Gauteng Province and encouraged them to utilise their skills in enhancing the South African economy. The Premier condemned the hate speech and the xenophobic attitude by certain leaders like the Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba.
The African Diaspora Forum chairperson, Marc Gbaffou, took the opportunity to request the Government of South Africa to revise the white paper on immigration that was released early this month, especially the section on the asylum seekers in South Africa that stipulate that asylum seekers will no longer be allowed to conduct work, study or run businesses.
He further requested the government to amnesty all illegal immigrants as this will enable the government to have an accurate database of the number of migrants in the country. The registration of all migrants in South Africa will reduce the chances of xenophobic outbreaks and further protect migrants from being used as cheap labour which is one of the main causes of xenophobic attacks. Several community leaders also used the opportunity to thank the South African citizens who are standing up against xenophobia. They also requested the government to protect the migrant communities.
The African Diaspora Forum is disappointed by mayor Herman Mashaba who turned down the invitation to come and show solidarity in the fight against xenophobia and racism.
During the march, the African Diaspora Forum and its partners observed a minute of silence in honour of our fallen father and human rights defender, Comrade Ahmed Kathrada. We would like to express our heart felt condolences to the family, friends and South Africa as a whole on the loss of this significant figure who stood up against any form of discrimination until his very last minute.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the people who ensured that this march was a success and those who were able to join the march.
Human rights day posted on 23 March 2017
The Chairperson of the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) Marc Gbaffou on Human rights day 21st March 2017 in Sharpville. He encouraged all Africans present to work together in advancing the continent's agenda. He highlited how the 1960 Sharpville massacre reminds us about how today Africans are being called "illegal" in some countries in the continent for not carrying a permit or passeport. He condemned crime and asked people to ensure crime free communities. He encouraged people not to take the law into their own hands but allow the law enforcement agencies to do their job. He finally asked all to embrace and cherish this day
Invitation to Jozi Solidarity March against Xenophobia posted on 17 March 2017
The Coalition against Xenophobia ( Several Civil society organisations; Government Officials; Concerned South African Citizens; Unions; Different stakeholders, African community leaders) invites you to the Jozi solidarity march against Xenophobia and racism .The recent upsurge of violent attacks on foreign nationals can be overcome if we stand together.
March details are as follows:
Date: Tuesday 28 March 2017
Time: 9h30 am for 10h00 am
Starting Point: Peter Roos Park, Parktown, Empire Road corner Queen Road, Johannesburg
End Point: Library Gardens, Johannesburg CBD
Agreed Route: - Empire Road to Claim Street - Turn right into Claim Street - Turn right into Rahima Moosa Street - Turn left into Harrison Street - Arrive at the END POINT Beyers Naude Square.
We rely on your leadership in the mobilisation of your constituency to attend in numbers. Your organisation and or network has an important role to play in the struggle to advance human dignity and rights.
For more information, please contact:
Mr Johnson EMEKA: 0721727393
Mr Prince ABENGE: 0817479779
Trevor Ngwane: 0790307657
Ms Gugulethu NCUBE: 0799356761
Volatile environment for all foreign nationals living in South Africa posted on 6 March 2017
International migrants in South African are once again the focus of headlines of both local and international mainstream media. This is not good news for the readers, listeners and viewers of news. The xenophobic monster has once again blown its deadly winds in the direction of vulnerable communities of foreign immigrants who live in the Republic of South Africa.
It happened in 2008, 2015 and now in 2017. We have witnessed the flames of xenophobia erupt in Gauteng province - that have been fuelled by the sweeping and reckless statements made by the current Executive Mayor of the City of Johannesburg Councillor Herman Mashaba that were repeatedly uttered in his 100 days of office speech. Without any attempt of sugar coating his utterances or disguising his intentions in his rhetoric, the Mayor is the culprit behind the spate of the xenophobic violence that targeted immigrants mainly from other African countries.
During his various speeches directed at international immigrants, the first citizen of the City of Johannesburg put a special emphasis on undocumented immigrants who he accused of hijacking some buildings in the Johannesburg CBD which they littered and transformed into a jungle. When the South African masses saw the Executive Mayor wearing the Metro Police gear and acting as an immigration officer checking the validity of permits of immigrants in a bid to find undocumented migrants in the streets of Rosettenville, this act served as an impetus for the people at the local grassroots to attack immigrants from other African countries residing in Rosettenville. More than 30 houses were set ablaze in Rosettenville and Pretoria West, as the local people embarked on a spree of destruction that saw houses being burnt, shops owned by migrants looted and even injuries meted out on some migrants.
Migrants who chose South Africa as their second home encounter the baleful threat of xenophobia on a daily basis in the streets and in both public and private owned institutions. The discriminatory behaviour that is unleashed against the migrant communities living and working in South Africa has reached unacceptable levels. The hardships that migrants face in communities could have been avoided if the authorities had taken proactive action by rolling out programmes aimed at educating South African citizens on the positive input that migrants offer to the Republic of South Africa rather than focussing on the negative innuendo and the baseless accusations about migrants.
As the African Diaspora Forum (ADF), we met the Executive Mayor of Johannesburg on the 28th of February 2017 with the hope that he would agree to retract his generalised statements about migrants but so far he has refused to do so. It is important to note that on the 1st of March 2017, the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) officially lodged to the South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) a complaint against the Mayor of Johannesburg, Councillor Herman Mashaba for hate speech and the incitement of violence. We also need to note that we do not have any agreement with the Mayor on holding any Minister accountable for anything. We therefore distance ourselves from any statement that the Mayor can utter on our behalf.
The Africa Diaspora Forum is inviting all political parties to make official public statements regarding their stance or position about the xenophobic attacks on foreign nationals. The ADF has good reason to suspect that there are some political parties that are manipulating their members to attack international migrants.
We are using this opportunity to thank the thousands of South African citizens who are concerned about the violent situation and working around the clock to discourage perpetrators. We are encouraging both foreign nationals and South African citizens to report any criminal activity to the law enforcement agencies. We discourage all to take the law into their own hands. We request and encourage all South African brothers and sisters to continue working with us in educating people on the importance and contributions that the migrants can make in South Africa. We equally encourage all migrants living and working in South Africa to be documented and to remain as law-abiding residents of the Republic. We hope that with the improvements done at the Desmond Tutu Centre with regard to getting documentation it will be much easier for migrants to live in South Africa.
complaint against the Mayor posted on 03 March 2017
Dear Colleagues, this is to inform you that today the 1st of March 2017, the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) officially launched to the
South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC) a complaint against the Mayor of Johannesburg Councillor Herman Mashaba for hate speech
and incitement to Violence.
The main problem on xenophobia is government posted on 25 February 2017
King Zwelathini of the Zulu people called on foreigners to go home where they came from, regardless
(Foreigners must go home).
Jacob Zuma's son, Edward, (Zuma's son supports King Zwelithini's
shocking statement) supported the king. President Zuma did not condemn the king or his son. Instead, he said his son is an adult capable of
making his own decisions. South African Human Rights Commission Chairman Lawrence Mushwana did not castigate King Zwelathini
(Zwelithini remarks problematic). Instead,
he said the King committed no offence. Johannesburg Democratic Alliance Mayor Herman Mashaba blamed foreigners for high crime rates in Johannesburg
(Johannesburg mayor under
fire over xenophobic comments). This is despite statistics clearly showing crime is mostly committed by local South Africans. Its all hogwash.
The only person who made a statement is lowly ranking Gauteng Premier David Makhura who in his state of the province address called on local
South Africans to not attack or blame foreigners for South Africa's problems
(Gauteng State of the Province).
The problem started during the tenure of president Thabo Mbeki. Despite his pan-African sentiments, Mbeki, nevertheless, refrain from openly
condemning xenophobia and instead called it criminal attacks
This started the impunity that foreigners (African foreigners) experience in South Africa today. Government did not come out to call xenophobia as
such and based on that to move swiftly and strongly to punish it. Following 2008 xenophobic attacks, a few people were rounded up but charged
with various common law offences as there was and still is no offence of xenophobia. Instead of attacking it head on, both Mbeki and Zuma government
play politics with xenophobia refusing to confront local population for fear they will lose votes if they did. Even after a Mozambican national
was burned alive in 2008 and several foreigners after that killed in macabre acts of naked violence, government continued to sing and dance with
the xenophobic attackers and orchestrators.
Need I go into the history of the ANC and of the liberation struggle in Africa? No, I need not. Every well meaning African government, the UN,
AU and other international organisations should condemn South African government for flirting with xenophobic killers and attackers. Government
should be made to realise that this is not how to run government in modern times. The role of government is to protect all those who live in it.
This is the philosophy of the 1955 ANC Freedom Charter which is now just a statement on paper.
Michelo Hansungule, in his personal capacity
Professor of Law, Centre for Human Rights, University of Pretoria, South Africa