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Gayton McKenzie, the president of the Patriotic Alliance, an opposition political party in South Africa, says undocumented Zimbabweans living in the neighbouring country illegally should return home now or be “forced to flee” after the general elections in May.
General elections will be held in South Africa this year to elect a new National Assembly as well as the provincial legislature in each province.
Posting on X, McKenzie warned Zimbabweans based in South Africa that they should leave peacefully now or risk being forced to flee the country after the elections. He wrote:
South Africans are paying for the failed land reform program of Zimbabwe, you constantly complain about your Zimbabwe government but when you had a chance to go vote it out, you didn’t bother to go. We will chase you from our country and you will thank us one day.
I love Zimbabweans, I love them enough to tell them the truth, there will be no place to hide after the election and the current politicians who support your stay here will abandon you at the power-sharing table. Go home now instead of fleeing home after May.
Responding to an X user who had asked why he targetted his vitriol at Zimbabweans as if all illegal immigrants are from Zimbabwe, McKenzie said:
Most definitely not but you act the most entitled to our country. We are coming for each and every illegal foreigner but you are most definitely the most annoying amongst all of them.
The 49-year-old politician and convicted bank robber recently denied reports that he is from Gweru, Zimbabwe.
South Africa is host to millions of Zimbabweans who went there from the year 2000 onward as economic refugees.
Illegal immigration is one of the major issues ahead of the vote and this has been the sprouting of several far-right groups that blame illegal immigrants for South Africa’s socio-economic challenges.