Operation Dudula is supposedly done with foreigners who came to look for jobs in South Africa and has turned ugly as South Africans now attack and rob each other. A Soweto resident has vowed to drag Dudula movement leader Nhlanhla “Lux” Dlamini to court after his house was ransacked after accusations that he was running a drug den.
Victor Ramerafe has opened a case of burglary, vandalism and theft against the group of people belonging from the Dudula movement after they allegedly broke into his property in search for drugs on Sunday.
Ramerafe, 59, told Sowetan he was shocked when he was welcomed by a mob at his Dobsonville home on his return from a glass-fitting “piece job”.
“I found people singing Struggle songs outside my house and I was instructed to open because they wanted to search it. They said they had been tipped off that I am selling drugs. As I walked through the gate, I saw that some had already entered through the window after breaking down the burglar bar.”
Ramerafe, who is also the secretary of the EFF in Ward 48, accused Dlamini of roughing him up and of telling him that he was not scared of the police as they interrogated him about the whereabouts of the drugs.
“Why would I be this poor If I sell drugs? They are scared of going to the hostel where they know drugs are sold to our children and they come to us because we are easy targets. This has to stop now,” he said.
He said the group allegedly turned his furniture and appliances upside down in their unsuccessful search for drugs.
“At this age and as a member and leader of the EFF in the area, why would I sell drugs? What would that say about me? They see young boys coming here frequently and they conclude. I went to the police station today to open a case against the thugs but they said I must come back tomorrow [today]. I will meet them in court and I will ask the EFF to find me a lawyer,” he said.
Article continues below these jobs
He accused the group of stealing his phone, R300 and of breaking some of his belongings, including framed photos of his late parents.
Ramerafe accused the police of standing by as the group allegedly broke into his home while they kept a distance from the house.
Ramerafe’s neighbour, Pat Putsanyane, accused Operation Dudula of having turned into criminals who tormented residents as he said he witnessed them breaking into the house.
“How do you call yourself a “clean-up” campaign when you break into people’s homes with no proof like they did? Even the police do not do what they are doing when they suspect a person to be doing something wrong. This is no different to back in the day when people would burn your home just because they suspect you [to be a police informer]. It’s criminality,” Putsanyane said.
The Dudula groupings’ operations, which are aimed at rooting out illegal foreigners whom they accuse of causing unemployment in South Africa, started in Soweto last year but have since spread to Alexandra, Ekurhuleni townships of Tembisa and Daveyton and the inner Johannesburg, including Hillbrow and Orange Grove.
Dlamini did not answer his cellphone yesterday.