Nhlanhla “Lux” Dlamini, leader of the South African anti-immigrant vigilante group Operation Dudula, was released on bail after his March 24 arrest for burglary, theft and malicious property damage.
The leader of the movement which calls for the prioritization of the interests of South Africans appeared Monday before the Roodepoort Magistrates’ Court for his request for release on bail.
Dlamini in reaction to his release thanked his supporters “I want to thank the young people – who are very capable of expressing their youth and being extremely violent in this difficult time – for showing high and maximum discipline and high morale.”
All roads leading to the court were barricaded with steel mesh fencing and the court compound was surrounded by a heavy police presence as they anticipated possible clashes with political opponents.
“We maintain that there is no case here as you cannot burglary and damage property while in the company of the police. This is politically motivated arrest and incarceration. .” said Kenny Kunene, a politician at the rally after the bail was granted.
“We cannot let illegality run rampant in our society, it has nothing to do with xenophobia. We have a system, inherited from the old system, don’t worry, from the old apartheid regime , where illegality – as long as it is tolerated by politicians – is fine.” activist Liyanda Lekalake.
Since January, demonstrations called “to fight for the future of South Africans” and against migrant workers have been held regularly in several cities. Protesters took to shops to demand that foreign workers accused of “stealing” South Africans’ jobs be fired. These rallies have so far led to tension but not violence.
_** “We are going to come out with a huge victory, we are already winners, but we are going to make sure to hold hands even those who are not there, tell them that it is time. That C’ is the time, there is no other time. This is the time when we live and die for our people. **_Dlamini, leader of self-defense movement Operation Dudula said.
Dlamini’s arrest drew criticism from members of his movement, who took to social media and social media to threaten to escalate their activities.
South Africa is periodically plagued by xenophobic epidemics. Sixty-two people were killed in riots in 2008.
Violent clashes erupted in 2015, 2016 and again in 2019. The country has 3.95 million foreigners out of nearly 60 million inhabitants, according to official statistics.