Mmusi Maimane goes xenophobic in his election campaign

Mmusi Maimane
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JOHANNESBURG – Mmusi Maimane, leader of Build One South Africa (BOSA), criticized the South African government for its handling of the Zimbabwean crisis, attributing the influx of Zimbabweans into South Africa to the African National Congress’s (ANC) policies.

Speaking on the Sunday Times Politics Weekly podcast, Maimane discussed the impact of South Africa’s political decisions on the neighboring country’s turmoil.

Listen to the conversation:

Maimane stated, “If it wasn’t for the ANC’s policy on the government of national unity when [former president of Zimbabwe Robert] Mugabe lost elections, we wouldn’t have this influx of Zimbabweans.” He made these remarks during an interview with Sunday Times deputy editor Mike Siluma.

Maimane, whose party is contesting the May 29 elections, highlighted that Zimbabwean citizens fled to South Africa due to economic turmoil and political violence in 2007. At that time, South Africa had been mediating Zimbabwe’s political conflict. Census figures from 2022 indicate that there were just over a million Zimbabweans in South Africa.

Election Focus on Undocumented Migrants

The issue of undocumented migrants has become a central topic in the political discourse leading up to the May 29 elections. Maimane advocates for securing borders and legalizing foreign nationals. He claims that he can document all foreigners within two years if his party comes to power.

Maimane also outlined criteria for foreigners seeking citizenship, including learning South African laws, speaking local languages, and integrating into existing communities rather than forming separate ones.

Wide-Ranging Discussion

The podcast episode covers more than just immigration. Maimane talks about forming a grand coalition of opposition parties and identifies potential political allies. He also proposes solutions to crime, such as merging local, metro, and private police forces for more effective law enforcement.

Additionally, Maimane criticized the National Health Insurance scheme, calling it a populist measure timed for the election. He argues that the policy is not a genuine solution but rather an electoral strategy.

For a comprehensive understanding of Maimane’s views and proposals, listen to the full podcast episode and join the conversation. Follow the Sunday Times Politics Weekly podcast on your favorite app and share your thoughts with thousands of other subscribers.