The EFF wants Africans scattered around the world to be exempt from South Africa’s immigration laws, starting with US musician Mos Def. He was a member of the African Diaspora and should be welcome in the country anytime, spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi said yesterday.
“It cannot be in the laws and practices of South Africa to criminalise, arrest and even deport Africans from the diaspora who made it their mission to visit and find home in South Africa,” said EFF MP and spokesperson Mbuyiseni Ndlozi.
Mos Def, aka Yasiin Bey, was arrested at Cape Town International Airport on January 9, allegedly for trying to leave South Africa on a “world passport”. This was in spite of him having a visa allowing a visit between November 30 and February 28.
He had claimed his “World Government of World Citizens” passport gave him the right to travel anywhere on earth.
He had used it in South Africa before, he said.
The Department of Home Affairs did not agree. He was arrested for violation of the Immigration Act and released on bail of R5 000.
Ndlozi said Africans in the diaspora, particularly from the US and Europe, were treated as sub-human because of their skin colour.
“It therefore cannot be correct that when these Africans come back to their origins and roots, they are subjected to the same treatment by a black government,” said Ndlozi.
South Africa had an historical obligation to be a home for all Africans. Their efforts had helped isolate South Africa until the apartheid regime capitulated to a political settlement, the EFF said.
Enforcement of immigration laws had to be handled more humanely or Africans would be discouraged from visiting.
The party would submit its demands to the department.