All meetings to be held at 47 Sauer street Johannesburg (Star news paper offices)
CLICK THE LINK AND SIGN THE PETITION TO STOP THE XENOPHOBIC ATTACKS ON MIGRANTS IN SOUTH AFRICA
Sign the petition here
All meetings to be held at 47 Sauer street Johannesburg (Star news paper offices)
CLICK THE LINK AND SIGN THE PETITION TO STOP THE XENOPHOBIC ATTACKS ON MIGRANTS IN SOUTH AFRICA
Sign the petition here
On the 20 June 2020, The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) in partnership with Mission of Merci South Africa distributed 280 food parcels in favour of destitute migrant workers who were the first to lose their jobs and are still till now unemployed.
On behalf of The African Diaspora Forum (ADF), I hereby write to express our gratitude to the Mission of Merci South Africa for the recent donation they made, of food parcels meant for the less privileged members of especially the migrant community.
Food Parcels distribution for migrants in dire straits in Mayfair / Fordsburg Johannesburg 18 May 2020
The African Diaspora Forum in partnership with Corruption watch distribute, with assistance of Al Imaad Foundation, 260 food parcels for less privileged members in Mayfair-Fordsburg and Newtown, who were on the verge of starvation.
Thank you Corruption Watch for this generous and humanitarian action.
By Dorothy Mabelebele
South Africans are urged to stay at home during the lockdown after the Corona Virus (COVID-19) has been discovered. On the 9th of April 2020 South African President Cyril Ramaphosa has announced the extension of lockdown to end of April. Ramaphosa pleaded with South Africans to make even greater sacrifices so that our country may survive this crisis and so that tens of thousands of lives may be saved. “we will use the coming days to evaluate how we will embark on risk-adjusted measures that can enable a phased recovery of the economy, allowing the return to operation of certain sectors under strictly controlled conditions”, Ramaphosa.
African Diaspora Forum (ADF) during this lockdown it has met with different communities to help vulnerable with food parcels. Today ADF leadership was at Dobsonville Soweto to handover food parcels. ADF Spokesperson Amir Sheikh Hussein said that “when the lockdown was announced by President we decided to assist the local communities that we reside with and we are very happy that Sowetan migrants business owners together with ward 47 & 48 councillors will hand over the food parcels to them”. Sheik Hussein added that 300 households received each food parcels worth R500 in Meadowlands and surrounding areas further more we have to distribute 1000 food parcels to migrants that reside in Mayfair and Inner City of Johannesburg. Ward 48 councillor Tshepo Nawane concluded by saying that this is what Africans is about, living together and assisting each other, someone who didn’t have food at all today will have something to eat today.
So far more European countries ease restriction during the COVID-19, the total number of global cases has surpassed 2.4 million, including more than 165,000 fatalities. More than 620,000 patients are reported to have recovered.
Watch the Video
Issues on the agenda were the following:
For more information about these issues, please contact our office or email us.
Criminal charges have been laid against people and organisations who are trying to fleece R100 million from the local Ethiopian refugee community in a scam offering South African permanent residence permits.
A complaint of fraud has been made at the Johannesburg Central Police Station by the United Ethiopian Association of South Africa and the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) against organisations and people mentioned in media reports about the scheme.
It is claimed in the reports that the Ethiopians made the offer through the South African Development Foundation.
The report said the proposal was submitted to the Deputy President of South Africa, David Mabuza, and the Minister in the Presidency, Jackson Mthembu. A spokesperson in Mr Jackson’s office said agreeing to the proposal was “like selling the country”. The reports also mentioned a Luke Zunga as an “economist of the African Diaspora Forum”. The chairperson of the African Diaspora Forum, Dr Abdul Elgoni, distanced the organisation from what he labeled “a scam”.
“This so-called proposal to raise R100 million is nothing but a scam to fleece members of the Ethiopian community in South Africa. Fraudsters and other criminal elements are intent on exploiting vulnerable refugees, asylum seekers and migrants in attempts to make a quick buck,” DrElgoni said.
He said for a while now several persons had been masquerading as leaders and members of the ADF mainly to extort money from migrant communities. “We have decided to take firm action against these fraudsters by laying criminal charges against them.
“They are sowing confusion among the migrant community and have a caused collateral damage to the genuine activities of the ADF and our affiliated organisations like the United Ethiopian Community Association.”
He said there was no position of an economist or a Mr Luke Zunga among the volunteers working in the ranks of the ADF.
”We have also informed the police of other schemes to extort money from unsuspecting migrants and which they promised to investigate.”
The leadership of the United Ethiopian Community Association Professor Mulatu Zeruhun, rejected and condemned in the strongest terms the proposal to the South African government.
The chairperson of the association, Professor Mulatu Zeruhun said: “This is nothing but a scam by fraudsters and con artists to make money. They are exploiting the vulnerable situation in which refugees and asylum seekers, in particular, find themselves in South Africa.
“Many of our people who face documentation challenges are uneasy about their future. This, however, makes them easy targets for people who see an opportunity to make money with false promises.”
He said the community was embarrassed by the perceptions created by the scam proposal in the South African society, the office of the presidency and the government.
“We want to assure the government and the South African society at large that genuine members of the Ethiopian community are not involved in the scheme or party to a proposal to buy residence permits.
“This is a criminal attempt to undermine the sovereignty of the South African state to which we will not be a party and condemn in the strongest terms”, he said.
Please direct all media inquiries to:
Amir Sheikh, PRO of the African Diaspora Forum, Cell no 0728711310
IT has become necessary for the African Diaspora Forum to once again clarify the position of Mr Vusi Sibanda after the Minister of Home Affairs, Dr Aaron Motsoaledi, this week described him as an alleged fraudster on national television.
In a debate on the Morning Live Show on SABC2 this week on the recently enacted regulations affecting migrants, asylum seekers and refugees, Dr Motsoaledi claimed Sibanda fraudulently obtained a South African ID document several years ago.
He said fraudulently obtained official documents were a “serious matter” as they “undermined the sovereignty” of the country.
The ADF, an umbrella body representing 34 affiliated community organisations, hereby once again distances itself from Sibanda who has been masquerading as the organisation’s chairperson.
We would like to reiterate to the media, the South African authorities, the donor community, members of the migrant community and the South African community in general that Sibanda does not represent the ADF, let alone lead it. The ADF executive is led by Dr Abdul Elgoni as its Chairperson. We are in the process of stopping Sibanda from using the ADF name while charging migrants for “representing them” and getting “donations” from the community using ADF’s name, thereby bringing into disrepute the good name of the ADF.
To further confuse people, Sibanda also operates under the name of the African Diaspora Global Network while at the same time using the ADF’s logo, name in social media networks.
Sibanda was elected as interim chairperson of the ADF in November 2018. On May 18 2019 he was ousted at a special general meeting attended by 33 country representatives because of his misconduct and maladministration (see attached statement).
The ADF distances itself from any commitments made by Sibanda and does not recognise any contracts or dealings entered into by him.
Abdeslam Ahmed Habiballah
African Diaspora Forum
Media inquiries: Please contact Amir Sheik 0739799479
The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) has noted with regret clashes between members of the South African Police Services (SAPS) and refugees in Pretoria, which come hard on the heels of yet another stand-off in Cape Town.
As the umbrella organization representing migrants, refugees and asylum seekers in South Africa, the ADF regrets the continuing trend in which members of the migrant community have been caught up in these clashes with law-enforcement agencies and which have worryingly become commonplace. It threatens to render the enforcement of law by South African authorities a bit more difficult.
The stoning of police officers in Pretoria and the violence perpetrated against members of the clergy and a member of the SA Human Rights Commission are condemned in the strongest terms. It’s the established view of the ADF that violence never delivers solutions and that dialogue is the only way forward.
We also plead with the law-enforcement agencies to exercise restraint and respect for human rights in handling these refugees and or enforcing court orders, especially because there are women and children among them, who are the most vulnerable during these clashes.
We would also like to implore the South African government, the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and other relevant bodies to lend a listening ear to the grievances being raised by these refugees and where possible, work with them in the best manner possible to try and address their problems within international statutes – including educating them on the provisions of international law in terms of refugee repatriation and transfer to another country.
On the other hand, we hereby implore migrants, refugees and asylum seekers to act responsibly in airing their grievances, as breaking South African laws will only compound their problems by casting them in bad light.
Breaking South African laws and acting in contempt of court judgments will not solve the genuine concerns some of these refugees have, but will only paint a negative picture of migrants. It creates the wrong impression that migrants are lawless people who disrespect the goodwill being extended to them by the host government.
We would not like a situation where refugees continue to either disrespect South African law enforcement agencies, or act in contempt of court decisions as this would set a bad precedent which could in future count against the migrant and refugee community.
In the eyes of the public, apparent disrespect for court judgments and clashes with police will only attract adverse reactions from some sections of the South African society and leave refugees and migrants more susceptible to prejudice. The ADF hopes that everyone concerned will engage in dialogue so that an amicable solution could be is reached within the confines of South African laws and international statutes, regarding this stand-off.
Public relations Officer,
African Diaspora Forum
Join Us and Sign This Petition Against Xenophobia…
About 4000 people have signed the petition. Your signature and voice is needed .
It has came to our attention that the South African government has instructed their media houses not to talk about the petition against Xenophobia. Let us continue mobilising on social media.
The killing of migrants, destruction of their businesses, and misleading the international community that there's no Xenophobia in South Africa can no longer be tolerated.
We all need to help South Africa to solve this problem. We all remember the way the white oppressors misled the international community during apartheid. The world wouldn't be aware of the tactics of the apartheid regime if our hero Nelson Mandela didn't spend 27 years in prison. It's unfortunate that the same tactic is being used today by the black government instead of addressing the issue.
Viva the spirit of Nelson Mandela, Viva
Thank you very mucharc GBAFFOU, founder African Diaspora Forum (ADF)
On Thursday, 12 September 2019, the African National Congress (ANC) met with leaders of the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) at Luthuli House.
The ANC delegation was led by the Deputy Secretary General, Cde Jessie Duarte. The ADF delegation was led by the ADF Executive Committee Chairperson, Dr Abdul Karim Elgoni.
The ADF conveyed the concerns of its members and proposed solutions to a number of immigration-related challenges. The ADF expressed its condemnation of any violations of South African law and, in particular, attacks on law enforcement officials.
The ANC reiterated its condemnation of any acts of violence and criminality directed against foreign nationals and South African citizens, and underscored the need to resolve grievances through engagement and dialogue. It emphasized its commitment to building a united Africa through the strengthening of political, social and economic ties between African countries.
The ANC also explained the concerns articulated by many South Africans and their desire to see the rule of law upheld, including on matters related to immigration and the conduct of business.
The ADF expressed appreciation for the principled stance taken by the ANC as well as the open and honest manner in which it explained these concerns.
The ANC and the ADF agreed to continue engaging in dialogue and to explore partnerships.
The meeting took place on the eve of an intensive engagement by the ANC National Executive Committee with citizens and ANC structures in Gauteng on violence against women and foreign nationals from 13-15 September 2019.
Deputy Secretary General
African National Congress
071 623 4975
072 718 5955
In the Kismayo meat restaurant at the heart of the Mayfair neighbourhood of Johannesburg, the elders of the city’s Somali community hold urgent meetings about the attacks on foreign-owned businesses and traders that have been surging for more than a week.
On Sunday, two people were reportedly killed and the police had to use teargas and rubber bullets to disperse groups of men armed with machetes and sticks while shouting anti-immigrant slogans.
Officials believe at least 11 people have died and scores of shops have been burned. Many more have been injured and looting has been widespread.
His Honourable Ramaphosa,
We wish to alert your office and to request that you make a pronouncement on the development of an atmosphere of xenophobia and hatred in the country.
For more than a month now attacks on migrants have been carried out and gradually intensifies and is reaching alarming proportions. Toward the end of July 2019 a complaint against crime allegedly committed by swahili-speaking foreign migrants in Richards Bay degenerated and shops belonging to the latter were looted. The victims are still unable to return to their places of work and business and their children unable to attend schools. The situation was not properly handled and two weeks later a strike by truck drivers worsened the situation in the same city.
For more than a month now attacks on migrants have been carried out and gradually intensifies and is reaching alarming proportions. Toward the end of July 2019 a complaint against crime allegedly committed by swahili-speaking foreign migrants in Richards Bay degenerated and shops belonging to the latter were looted. The victims are still unable to return to their places of work and business and their children unable to attend schools. The situation was not properly handled and two weeks later a strike by truck drivers worsened the situation in the same city.Read the full letter
Please sign and share the petition
The African Diaspora Forum (ADF), a federation of more than 30 organizations that protects and defends the rights of migrants, is calling on the African Union (AU), the United Nations (UN), to make sure South Africa (SA) is pressured to protect all migrants.
We request an investigation into the xenophobic attacks from May 2008 to August 2019.
We request SA to compensate the victims of the different attacks and for perpetrators to be investigated and brought before a court of law.
We are requesting SA to document migrants who are already living in the country. This will avoid the perception that migrants are illegal.
We aim at having two million signatures for this petition and your signature counts.
Follow the link, sign now and share. http://chng.it/6CpBCrszhd
Marc Gbaffou, Founder, African Diaspora Forum(ADF)
In South Africa, apartheid is back, but this time black South Africans against other Africans. The government is busy fuelling the situation.
The police are not assisting.
This is happening right now in the country of Nelson Mandela… my heart is bleeding, may the soul of Nelson R. Mandela rest in peace.
UCL-Lancet Commission says contrary to popular belief, immigrants are not a huge burden on healthcare
They’re blamed for stealing jobs and for the high levels of crime in some communities.
They are also accused of spreading sex work and drug dealing.
And when it comes to their healthcare needs, the blame game is heavily shifted towards immigrants, mostly referred to as foreigners.
Populist rhetoric often crucifies immigrants living in the country, whether they are here legally or illegally.
Extracted from City Press Read the full story
Over the past two weeks, the government has taken drastic actions against immigrants in the name of safety and sovereignty. This includes a massive raid on counterfeit goods sold informally on Johannesburg streets. When the largely immigrant street-traders resisted, the police retreated swearing to return.
A few days later, they regrouped and arrested close to 600 people. Many were undocumented, others had documents in orders. A few were citizens. At least two were South Africans the police presumed were foreign. Yesterday, citizens of Soweto continued to "revenge" the police by looting foreign-run Spaza shops in what appears to have been a locally coordinated attack.
What should the South African public make about these moves? Although international relations and co-operation minister Naledi Pandor has argued that xenophobia is "not a nice trait to have", few others protest these moves. Rather, people across the political and socio-economic spectrum are celebrating moves to rid South Africa of foreigners and keep others away. The DA and ANC are fiercely contesting who is tougher on immigration.
extracted from News24 Read the full article
The African Diaspora Forum (ADF) could take legal action against the state for the illegal detention of documented foreign nationals following the Johannesburg raids last week.
Police arrested more than 600 suspects on various charges, including possession of counterfeit goods and a lack of permits for residency. They were kept at Johannesburg Central police station for verification.
"Currently we are sitting with our legal team and seeking that if at least we can sue even the state for the illegal arrest of documented migrants and holding them more than 48 hours without producing them in court," says ADF's spokesperson, Amir Sheikh.
Sheikh alleges that more than 200 of those arrested had the necessary documentation.
"The difficulty is only arising from members who are not willing for fears that their documentation will be revoked or they may be actually victimised but we will go ahead with that and it will not the first time. We have similar unnecessary raids in the year 2011."
The suspects are expected to appear in the Johannesburg Magistrates Court on Monday.
Seven officers arrested for corruption and defeating the ends of justice are also set to appear.
They are accused of attempting to sell some of the confiscated goods back to the illegal traders.
African Diaspora Forum calls for investigation into clashes between traders and police
SA’s embattled economy could be strained further if the crackdown on informal traders continues unabated, the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) warns
The forum has asked that an inquiry be launched to establish the facts of the matter.
This comes in the wake of rising tensions between inner-city traders in Johannesburg — many of them believed to be illegal immigrants — and authorities.
On August 1 a video went viral of vendors attacking police officers who had confiscated counterfeit goods in the city’s CBD. Authorities and political parties banded together to condemn the attack.
Last Wednesday the police, together with police minister Bheki Cele and Gauteng premier David Makhura, among other politicians, returned to the CBD. In subsequent raids counterfeit goods were confiscated, and hundreds of foreigners were arrested. The raid also reportedly uncovered an arms cache that included assault rifles and an AK47.Read the full story…
7 August 2019: Primrose Mupfeki, from Zimbabwe, was shot on the ear by a police rubber bullet. South African Police Services carried out a large operation in the Johannesburg city centre to "reassert the authority of the State" after conflict with migrant traders. Many migrants were arrested and their goods confiscated. The operation was followed by looting and attacks by South African mobs, singing anti-migrant songs in the CBD.
A group of men armed with crude weapons made their way through the inner city, breaking and looting, in the wake of police raids in which refugees and other migrants were rounded up and their goods confiscated at gunpoint.
This is an audio file click here to list to the report
Exactly 100 years after the birth of Nelson Mandela, the 15th of November saw the EU-South Africa summit taking place in Brussels. South Africa is one of the European Union's ten Strategic Partners. Hence the summit represented a unique opportunity to build on Mandela's legacy and to assess the state of play of the whole range of issues under the EU-South Africa Strategic Partnership.
Find out more Go to Website
|Country & Region||Community Leader||Phone|
|Central Africa - CAMEROON||Mr Seraphin Kegne|
|Central Africa - CAMEROON||Ms Nadine Mengue|
|East Africa - SUDAN||Dr Abdul Karim Elgoni|
|East Africa - UGANDA||Dr Agnes V. Ikatekit Okonera|
|North Africa - EGYPT||Mr Raafat Mansour|
|North Africa - MOROCCO||Mr Hasan Ibn Zahir|
|Souther Africa - LESOTHO||Ms Refiloe Mehlomakulu|
|Southern AFrica - ZAMBIA||Mr Ferdinand Simaanya|
|South Africa as region||Mrs Bongiwe Dhlomo Mautloa|
|West Africa - SEBEGAL||Mr Talla Niang|
|West Africa - IVORY COAST||Issa Djatto|
|Asia - PAKISTAN||Shahid Chohan|
|Asia - BANGLADESH||Mizanur Rahman Abdu Sukar|
|Chairperson Dr Abdul Elgoni (Sudan)|
|Deputy Chairperson Mr Abdeslam Habiballah Ahmed (Morocco)|
|Spokesperson Mr Amir Sheikh (Somalia)|
|Treasury Mr Flavien Gagoum (Cameroon)|
|Secretary Ms Harriett Buga (Uganda)|
|Organising Secretary Rifiloe Mehlomakulu (Lesoto)|
|ADF Brand Ambassador Honorable ADESINA Lookman Adebowale (Nigeria)|
I write to you in line with the above underlined subject. On 18 May 2019 an emergency general assembly of leaders of migrant community associations (33 community leaders) and the broader migrants' community members (68 people) of the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) was held and in line with article 14.3 of the ADF constitution, and in line with article 11.6 of the same constitution, the members unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in the interim executive committee elected on 11 November 2018 of which you were interim Chairperson and a member. The reasons for the decision of the general assembly were as follow:… Read the full document
The advent of undocumented migrants in South Africa is a very hotly contested issue, mainly because indeed there are many migrants that should have been documented but for the systems and authorities that make it impossible to be documented.
The major reasons for the many undocumented migrants includes among others:
The ADF continues to witness and take note of disturbing events and statements that are contrary to the Spirit of Ubuntu, the spirit of brotherhood and social cohesion and integration. The ADF continues to campaign for the recognition of migration as a fundamental human right where people must not be victimised for migrating as a result of any factor other than fleeing prosecution for crimes committed in society that are not political.
Our view is that politicians account to the electorate and must answer for their term in office and not shift blame for their failures to perform, but in many cases these politicians lead citizens to xenophobic tendencies as they bring about migration issues as a cause to poor service delivery, this in our view is untenable. The net figure of migration calculated as the balance between inward and outward migration in any country will give interesting statistics any figures.
In our bid to balance these states the ADF seeks undertake a research of the total number of South Africans who are living in other countries versus those that are Read more…
Civil Society Organisations including Consortium for Refugees and Migrants in South Africa, SECTION27, Right2KNow, Amnesty International and Lawyers for Human Rights are calling on all people to refrain from illegal and harmful acts of xenophobia and looting and spreading of threatening messages.
We submit that foreign nationals are being used as a proxy by frustrated communities who are legitimately frustrated by the socio-economic challenges we currently experiencing across the country.
We call on you all to report grievances and suspected cases of illicit goods to the relevant authorities.
We call on the government, political, leaders in society, to condemn such acts of criminality that are spurred on by clear hatred of foreign nationals.
We demand that law enforcement agencies respond timeously and decisevely with those who commit these acts and ensure that they face the full might of the law.
If you have been victim or witness to any case of xenophobia please report to Xenowatch.
A FREE SMS can be sent to 44705.
Include: Location, description of incident and time.
I hope you are all doing well!
I am still trying to settle in here in France, but that process has been negatively affected by the sudden turn the African Diaspora Forum (ADF), an organization we have formed, an organization we all love and an organisation whose continued existence and prosperity keep us going, has taken.
It has been barely a month after I left, yet the swift way in which events have taken place in the ADF has been more a cause of concern than a source of optimism. Tensions have continued to rise, personal vendettas have come to the fore and attempts to shelve the organisation’s mission, vision and focus by some of those we appointed to certain positions have been threadbare.
Before I left… Read More
Dear Colleagues, dear friends, dear all
RE: Organisational restructuring and goodbye
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… Read More
A better Africa for a best worldIn 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.
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 email@example.com
Issued by the Gauteng Department of Sport, Arts, Culture and Recreation
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.
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”
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.