ActionSA ponders dragging Malema to court for ‘encouraging’ illegal immigration in South Africa

ActionSA ponders dragging Malema to court for ‘encouraging’ illegal immigration in South Africa

The matter relates to remarks Malema made at a press conference on 14 January 2021, in which he condemned government for closing borders to Southern African Development Community (SADC) countries as part of its response to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Malema said at the time: “So let the borders be open and if the gates are not for SADC, fellow SADC people please find a creative way this is your home, your families are here. There is no way anyone is going to close you out here.

“Lesotho and Free State are one thing, Mpumalanga and Swaziland are one thing, North West and Botswana are one thing, Limpopo and Zimbabwe are one thing. What is the point, there is not point at all…”

ActionSA complaint

Mashaba said ActionSA had lodged a complaint with Parliament against Malema for breaching the Code of Ethical Conduct.

He said the Joint Committee on Ethics and Members’ Interests found that Malema did not breach the Code of Ethical Conduct when making his remarks because “the words uttered by Honourable Malema is [sic] open to different interpretations.”

Mashaba described parliament’s decision to acquit the EFF leader as absurd.

He said Parliament was wrong because Malema openly encouraged residents of SADC countries to cross South Africa’s borders in violation of immigration laws and Covid regulations at the time.

“ActionSA stipulates that there was no ambiguity in Malema’s remarks which are a blatant invitation for people from neighbouring countries to enter South Africa illegally at a time in which the greatest number of deaths were being recorded from Covid-19 in South Africa.

“Any interpretation beyond this just serves to further how our National Assembly has become a place that protects Members of Parliament and not South Africans,” Mashaba said in a statement.

Anarchy and lawlessness

He said ActionSA was considering legal action in order to send a message to Malema, and all other MPs, that positions of public service should not be used to drive anarchy and lawlessness in South Africa.

“MPs swear an oath of office to serve our country, to uphold our laws and protect our Constitution. They are not at liberty to take the public trust placed in them by South Africans and use it to promote anarchy and lawlessness which impacts those they are meant to represent and serve.

“When MPs promote illegal immigration in a country that desperately wants its public representatives to uphold the rule of law and protect our borders, they must be held accountable.”

Compiled by Thapelo Lekabe

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