Media release

Government undeterred by malicious claims against Operation Fiela - Reclaim

10 May 2015

 10 May 2015

Government has noted with serious concern irresponsible claims that seek to suggest that Operation Fiela - Reclaim is targeted at foreign nationals living in South Africa. We would like to categorically and emphatically state that these claims are far from the truth.

We are concerned by false claims that there has been abuse of rights during the search and seizure operation conducted at the Methodist Church in Johannesburg.  The operation at the Methodist Church that happened around 08:00am on 08 May 2015 was part of a broader operation that started around 00:00 midnight within the Johannesburg CBD.

We have been reassured by the team that conducted the search and seizure operation that it was conducted in a professional manner. We, therefore, reject any claims that there were violations of rights during the operation. Extra care was taken to ensure that children detained with their parents were taken to the temporary shelter in Mayfair to ensure that they await repatriation in a conducive environment.

Operation Fiela- Reclaim is a multidisciplinary operation by various state entities to ensure strict compliance with the various laws and regulations governing our society.  As the chairperson of the Inter-Ministerial Committee on Migration, Minister Jeff Radebe indicated that, "Operation Fiela - Reclaim is an operation to rid our country of illegal weapons, drug dens, prostitution rings and other illegal activities".

South Africa is a democratic country that is governed by laws and all people in our country have to comply with these laws. Law abiding South Africans and foreign nationals have no reason whatsoever to fear Operation Fiela - Reclaim.  This is an operation aimed at making our country safer to enable all people who live in our country to enjoy their freedoms in an environment that is free from crime.

Operation Fiela - Reclaim will be intensified and expanded in the weeks and months to come to ensure that all concerns raised by South Africans to members of the IMC on Migration are addressed. We reiterate our commitment to make sure that all people in our country are and feel safe.

Ms Phumla Williams, IMC Spokesperson
Cell: 083 501 0139

Issued by Government Communication and Information System (GCIS) on behalf of Inter-Ministerial Committee on Migration

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