More migrants seeking counselling after Operation Fiyela crackdown


15 May 2015 - President Jacob Zuma has lauded Operation Fiela's success in reducing crime and rooting out illegal foreigners

JOHANNESBURG - Rights groups are outraged by the recent raids police and soldiers are conducting across the country.

A joint initiative by various government bodies, Operation Fiyela kicked off last month.

Hundreds of people,many of them foreigners, have been arrested in surprise visits and unannounced raids, which started shortly after last month&39;s wave of xenophobic attacks in Gauteng and KwaZulu-Natal.

Activists are accusing government of being xenophobic, by targeting hostels and areas where foreigners are known to live, and some refugee rights groups have dubbed the crackdown &39;state-funded xenophobia&39;.

Others say it enhances stigma against marginalised groups.

Marlise Richter of the Sonke Gender Justice Network said,  “Operation Fiyela is the Sotho word for &39;clean sweep&39; which implies that the operation is sweeping away the dirt of society and the founding documents of Operation Fiyela they include quite a wide variety of people, undocumented migrants, sex workers, people who use RDP housing.”

Government won’t say how long Operation Fiyela will continue, but it has promised to give an update on its progress this weekend.

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