South Africa’s Ministry of Home Affairs has published a new immigration overhaul plan. The plan calls for South Africa to withdraw, at least temporarily, from the 1951 UN Refugees Convention and the 1967 Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees.
The purpose of suspending these treaties would be to make it easier and faster to deport illegal aliens. South Africa would notify the UN that the country no longer possesses the socio-economic resources to grant immigrants the rights envisioned in the 1951 convention.
South Africa has about 3 million migrants, accounting for about 5% of all people in the country. Zimbabwe and Mozambique are the two largest countries of origin.
There is a long history of anti-immigrant riots in South Africa. Most recently, South Africa has seen the rise of an anti-migrant vigilante group called Operation Dudula. This is primarily an ethnic Zulu group and the name means “force out.” Now, Operation Dudula has even registered as a political party and says it will run in elections.
South African Minister of Police Bheki Cele, of the ANC: