Over 200 people turned out for a largely peaceful Operation Dudula march on Sunday in Durban.
Operation Dudula is a movement that started in Johannesburg where a small group of people have been forcibly closing shops and raiding properties belonging to foreign nationals in the townships and city centre. The movement is against all foreigners who left their countries to come and work in South Africa.
Dan Radebe, Operation Dudula’s deputy chairperson said the march marked an official launch of the organisation in KwaZulu-Natal. He further said Operation Dudula will start working with the Home Affairs department and deport all illegal foreigners in Durban.
“We are implementing the programmes of Operation Dudula as from tomorrow (Monday), we are not here to sing and dance,” he said.
“Local members of Operation Dudula will start engaging with the Department Home Affairs to identify which buildings house undocumented foreigners so they can be deported.”
Sunday’s march, which was granted permission by eThekwini Municipality on Friday, was under heavy police presence.
Police had indicted that they would not allow any deviation of the approved route from the Durban City Hall to Point Police Station.
The march started off slowly with more people joining in as it progressed and the rain subsiding.
As the march entered towards the Point Precinct, an area with a large foreign community, the crowd started singing anti-foreign songs.
Some even included the use of the derogatory term, ‘amakwerekwere’.
Police had to act swiftly when people from the Sea Point Towers (Seaboard residence) building threw bottles and water at the marching crowd.
Some agitated members of Dudula tried to enter the building but were stopped by police.
The building has private tenants but also serves as a residence for students enrolled at the Mangosuthu University of Technology and University of Kwazulu-Natal.
Some people at the march also had skirmishes with members of the public but police quickly intervened before these could get serious.
By 1pm, the march reached Point Police Station where a memorandum of demands was handed over to police and officials from the Department of Home Affairs.