SOUTH AFRICA’s Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba has threatened to prosecute Zimbabwe’s opposition if it was found to be among those creating fake but alarming social media messages threatening xenophobic attacks in that country.
Gigaba said this in the wake of violence threats sent via social media by some unknown persons to instil fear on foreigners living in South Africa.
In the hunt for the culprits, Gigaba said South Africa’s security organs do not rule out the possibility of foreigners themselves desperately trying to scare their compatriots out of South African soil in attempts to lure them to vote back home.
“…We urge all opposition parties in sending countries to desist from desperate attempts to lure migrants resident in RSA by hook-and-crook means,”
Gigaba said in a media statement attributed to him on Tuesday.
“Political campaigns to gain votes and win elections cannot be attained via threats, but by careful, cautious and vibrant diaspora campaigns.
“We have reason to prosecute such opposition parties following due processes as happens in other regions and globally.”
While other neighbouring countries have systems that allow their nationals to cast their votes on South African soil, President Robert Mugabe’s government has adamantly refused to franchise the millions of Zimbabweans living abroad.
South Africa plays host to the largest population of both political and economic Zimbabwean exiles, who are in the majority of migrants eking out a living in that country.