Johannesburg mayor under fire over xenophobic comments against Malawians and other immigrants

Herman Mashaba

Amnesty International has blasted Johannesburg mayor Herman Mashaba for suggesting that Malawians and other immigrants living in the city are criminals.

While addressing the media to mark 100 days in office on 1 December, Mashaba labelled foreign nationals as “criminals” who have hijacked Johannesburg.

But the international organisation has described Mashaba’s comments as “dangerous and divisive” saying the mayor risks inspiring a wave of xenophobic attacks across South Africa.

Herman Mashaba
Herman Mashaba: Has come under fire.

“His reckless utterances are based on prejudice against migrants. Rather than making comments that risk fanning the flames of xenophobic attacks, the authorities must act to counter stereotypes, eradicate discrimination and foster greater equality in South Africa,” Executive Director of Amnesty International South Africa Sicel’mpilo Shange-Buthane said.

According to Shange-Buthane, Mashaba’s comments also undermine human rights and the bill of rights in South Africa’s constitution which affirm the right of everyone in the country not to be discriminated against.

“As a high-profile politician, Herman Mashaba should avoid making such provocative statements that can cause serious harm in society,” Shange-Buthane said in a statement.

Meanwhile, Amnesty has called on South African authorities to move swiftly to counter such dangerous remarks and make it clear that violence and discrimination against Malawians and other immigrants will not be tolerated.



  1. Three Malawian nationals who were transporting the children are in police custody.

    The men – aged between 25 and 36 – had refused to open the back of truck when they were apprehended by the police on Sunday. When police opened the truck‚ two children fell to the ground‚ acting National Police Commissioner Kgomotso Phahlane said.

    “This tells you that these children were being transported as if they were goats.

    “They are well looked after by under the auspices of the Department of Social Development in the North West Province [as] these centres provide support and care in line with the Child Care Act‚” said Phahlane.

  2. PRETORIA (Malawi NewsNow)- Two Malawi nationals have been in South African media for wrong reasons after being arrested by police for violent armed robbery.

    The two Malawians were among six armed robbers who stole from a shop in Pretoria.

  3. Regina Nsona, a Malawian woman in South Africa has been listed among the most wanted suspects in the rainbow nation.
    According to South African police, Nsona was a domestic worker and is believed to have assisted other criminals to steal from the house of her boss.

  4. Five Malawian nationals have been arrested in Johannesburg in South Africa.
    South African Police Service said the five Malawians who were not identified were apprehended after they shot two Ethiopians on Thursday afternoon.
    South Africa Police“We have arrested five Malawians in connection to the shooting of two Ethiopian nationals and we will make more arrests. We are opening a case of murder,” said Gauteng police spokesperson Kay Makhubela.
    It is not yet known why the Malawians shot the two Ethiopian nationals. According to reports, the victims were in their shop when the group of assailants entered and shot them.

    Comments PLease

  5. My african brothers and sisters. The Mayor said all illegal immigrates not Malawian, you are all defending criminals that a causing xenophobia in south africa and endangering the lives of honest working legal immigrants in south africa and dividing the continent. You in Malawi had the same problem in 2012 and Mrs Joyce Banda said all immigrants should be removed, and you welcomed it with open hands. They are killing us, robbing us. You can have all your illegal immigrants in south africa and we will remain with the legal honest one. The law is the law, they must leave the country! I support anyone that stands against the law of any country being broken. I am a foreigner as well in Zambia and have been in many african countries but I in zambia to help build it not brake it, cause its beautiful contry. Now I come to malawi I bring peace and respect the peace of the people there. Do not support criminals just because they are from your country and hurting the people of that country.

  6. Under fire of what? Most foreigners live large in SA through illicit dealings but our government would label South Africans lazy and foreigners hardworkers. They sell drugs, pirated music and also run brothels. Each and every foreign nationality has its area of specialisation in terms of crimes they commit. SA is so fertile for their activities. It is not just foreigners from African countries, it involves other continents too.

  7. A true friend is that his actions be a reflection of the Znonk ..chks can not be disappointed in it forever #Please Add and #follow me
    .. !! الصديق الحقيقي هو الذي تكون أفعاله عباره عن إنعكاس لظنونك فيه ..شخص لا يمكن أن يخيب ظنك فيه للأبد .. !!
    #إضافة + #متابعة #من_فضلكم

  8. let all malawians come back plz apresidnt atipangire ntchito zuma akuvutika creating jobs ndilumakagwira amalawi asa let our presdnt creat jobs aswell tatopa ndikuva za ku johns

  9. let all malawians come back plz apresidnt atipangire ntchito zuma akuvutika creating jobs ndilumakagwira amalawi asa let our presdnt creat jobs aswell tatopa ndikuva za ku johns

    1. So then it will be ok for me to come illegally to Malawi and start doing crime and hurt your people. You are ignorant and worse of all you can’t read. The Mayor said all illegal foreigners not Malawians.

  10. according in what u say,apooo…zoonadi tachuluka ngt bonya muno.bwedzi ndikumapita koma maluzi kumpanje

  11. To b honest the problem is Joburg is Criminals, The so called Police in Johannesburg, are Criminals they used to steal Money from these foreign Nationals, When they go for home, packstaion, just pretend as if u don’t have ID, they will take to a corner and steal your money just try one Day

  12. Mayor mentioned about illigal immigrants and he didn’t emphasize on specific country like Malawi, Should we say xenophobic statement when he talk about undocumented immigrants??

  13. Sananene kuti a #Malawi ndi ma foreigner ena ngati ukunenela iwe wa Malawi24. Anangoti ma foreigner. Nchifukwa chani ukuwayika a Malawi patsogolo? Osamaonjezela nkhani, upindulanji ukatchula dziko la Malawi? Iwe ndi mayor woyipa mtimayo simukusiyana nonse oyipa osawafunila anzanu zabwino. A Malawi kutchuka ndi Nsanje ndi ufiti. Kuteloku ena aMalawi mukulakalaka #zeno itayambanso. Mmodzi mwa iwo ndi iwe walemba nkhaniyi.

  14. Am seconding HERMAN, indeed foreigners [email protected] r dea including malawians r completely crminals, many of dem r destroyers, let da thruth pass on its way….tibiseso apaaa….

  15. Ndizoona, maka anthu akumangochi akuipisa mbiri ya amalawi ku joz, imagin munthu akugwira vep ya mushop and akulandila r300 pa wiki, ndiye alipire rent,adye, upeza by 5 months wagura galimoto ya r40000 how come, amawaberanso amalawi anzawo somtyms

  16. some times i feel like I must unlike this page coz you always fade us with your lies story maybe you think that we don’t read newspaper on social media whatever,he didn’t mention any country what I know is that he said illegal migrants should be deported so stop misleading people we are not fool thats ridiculous,shame on you #@malawi24

  17. I know those pipo who fith in joz, nd ma guyz amene amapita joz without passport coz amaziwa kt akakaba olo awathamangise azapita mosavuta chi4kwa iwo cholinga chawo nd chinecho bas sazasiya

  18. am still waiting for The day theyll b change.. the day thell be equally love .. not pointing fingers on people who are good or bad,.. this isnt about Immigrants its about all of us•• we all need counselling

  19. Exactly midyomba makamaka pafupi ndi brii taxi rank amaba sizamwana…..ine anandihasula Samsung wanga pamozi ndi dollar ndikuchoka DBN around 7pm mawu inu achewanu ine ndilibw

  20. It Is Criminal For Authorities To Intertain Such Thoughts!!! Why Only See Criminals Among Immigrants? Does He Think South Africa Will Be Crime-free If It Expels All Immigrants? South Africans Should Not Think That Other Africans Are Filth!!! Such Behaviour Is Provocative- It Will Make South Africans Unwelcome In Neighbouring Countries!!!

  21. most things is to fixit our economy so that son of malawi won’t go any foreigners country to be a slave there…….akuvutikatu ana kuno ku sa….anthu andalenu mukanaimikila kubako kaye…….nkukonza dzikoli

  22. But why can’t he just sue them.I believe he has evidence….I have been in jozi and if the truth be told indeed some Yao boys sometimes go nuts but if you want to talk about criminals then south Africans are….


  24. mkuluyi sanapange Specify kuti anthu a dziko lakuti ndi omwe ayenera kuchoka ; a Malawi 24mwalembazi mwazitenga kuti; ndiponso iye anati undocumented forigners osati aliyenseyi

  25. Komanso penapake sibho kumakhazikika mdziko laweni,ndibwino kangachepe kusunga kumuzi.A Malawi ena akuzunzika kuTZ akufuna atabwelera,kwa eni kulije mkuwe

  26. Tazania yawonetsa map atsopano nyanja inja atengapo mbali yina ,Akanangotenga kadziko kose kano mwina tikanawona zina ,kwanthu kuno ndalama zilipo koma kumphangira plus katangale.

  27. Midyomba mpaka kuyambitsa morchery cholinga azitibera, fotsek sindizabweranso ku jozi kwanuko uve uli tho, nsikizi, nsabwe, mphemvu mpaka mu fridge.

    1. Pa anthu 100 more especially Malawians those who are legally staying here are very few maybe its 5 out of 100.Anbilife ndi ama overstay,komanso opanda pass p

    2. Ma pepala ukunenawo ndiye ati?
      Poti tikabwera ma passport athu achita expire after 1 month.
      Ma Asylum paper sakupelekanso.
      Mwina iwe uli ndi ID ya kuno?
      Chilungamo chake ndi choti amanenena ma foreigner onse za ma pepala amangozebisalilako. Anthu akhala akuyenda ku Home Affairs kufuna ma pepala kupewa kutchedwa ma illegal koma zikukanika.

  28. Sanamaditu, ma guy mu jozi simuba bwino iyayi, ana akuba inu,eti kumawabera amalawi anzawo eti? Mpakana amaphana mipanje yokha yokha, ana achabe kwabasi

  29. I gree with that mayor tho,a Malawi ambiridi maka mu jozi mweni mweni amapangadi za crime eg they are the founders of style yogona mu shop,ndikusesa dhola zonse mammawa ndikutuluka nazo,ena aomaotchedwa nazo komabe samanva,ali ndi magulu okuba ku bulding called motchale amawabera even amalawi anzawo,zambiri sindinena,Ma nigeria alibwino chifukwa samam’bera munthu chisawawa iwo amaponya pokuya mma bank and etc but the fact they are all criminals if I were the mayor I shoudnt hv scared for the court,

    1. nenani cholondolacho tinve koma bola chilungamo mukuchiziwa,If u hv been with southafricans they don’t mind tht coz they didn’t born with it,koma muchepese kuba more over mmawabera amalawi anzanu ochokera ma dera ena akamapita ku Mw,and mukakumananazo u expecting the same ppo to feel sorry for u?Never

    2. are u southafrican?don’t u know that southafricans they don’t like english?but any way just tell me how far do u know southafricans?

    3. Ine nzanga amakhala mu sheshton amayanganila manyumba mamuna wake atalandila red anabwela usiku kuzamupsyeza ndi ndinfuti nkutenga zonse ndizakra zomwe amalawi sari bwino ndithudi

    4. yeah man,but they are still malawian okuba ambirinso ndi aMangochi but they are representing Malawi,they don’t mind which side of MW are they frm

    5. I remember in 2010 when i was comng 4rm capetown to LL , i stopped in Johs to change a bus my friend was robbed by a fellow Malawian. Too bad.

    6. Somehow, somewhere, I agree with you Roxey Baibe, a Malawi ambiri ndi ausilu ndi omwenso akuonongela mbiri ya a Malawi ena, that’s why in most cases I don’t want any fellow Malawian near me chifukwa cha ana opusa ngati apa Motchale uwanena wo ndi ena.

    7. That motuary group is too dangerous they are malawians but they act like animals mmm i can agree with you i saw what they did with my two eyes amabera anthu kumenya kupha eesh

    8. That motuary group is too dangerous they are malawians but they act like animals mmm i can agree with you i saw what they did with my two eyes amabera anthu kumenya kupha eesh

    9. Guys there is power in ur words b careful.every nation there is a criminals that’s y there od police and coart to deal with that and immigrants got there own way dealt with.don’t be fool’s here by saying u r agreeing with the.mayor yet u r from Malawi but u see international organisations r protecting Malawians on this issue and u r speaking against Malawians don’t be fool’s here take ur foolishness somewhere else if they use ur coments do u know what can happen to ut brothers here in SA? U ivin wrote English Foooooooools

    10. You never robbed thats why you are talking like that ask me they point gun on my nose my own fellow malawians and i know him very well they call them selves akumochale if you are in rsa be there on your own risk we can hide the trueth my brother

    11. Foolish pple this is international platform media can use ur coments.if u were robed here we have been robed here aswell lots of money with.gun point by south Africans and other nationals.crime is every where in every nations u will see them.

    12. Blessings is ryt guys…if we want to be against with our fellow malawians..lets use our local language…mind u..its not all malawians are with bad intentions there…even here in malawi or any part in africa or western countries..robbing is existing..but it doesnt mean that we should be against with our own brothers and sisters out there..lets mind our tongue at the moment..if we want to argue over this matter..lets use our mothers toung…thanks

    13. #Zammimba am suspecting u that u r one of them now,are u calling them our brothers and sisters now?while they don’t care about that wen ever they wanna robe us?this is the fact,and we can hide nix unless they changed azikaba mma bank chabwino,as for me some one who want to take my life awy coz of wat I got he is not my bra

    14. #fundocheonga u said am a fool,u said am wishing them troble?its better that am jus wishing them but they are killing and robing there fellow Malawians in a foreign country they all went there kukasaka so do u think its fair that some one working the whole day and some one just come and robe em?iweyo atakupanga zingakuwaze?

    15. mukudandaula kuti tikuyankhula in english?mesa mwat our english is broken?nde azungu anganve bwanji cha broken cho hey?

    16. yeah,mwina mwake tiwanvereko other wise atidulira malire,atiuza kut popita kumalawi tizaende mmwambatu kenako,but any way I don’t scared that much I still got friends in dangerous crews tho,ndikamalowa jozi ndimakhala ndili safe sindimanyumwisidwa

    17. ye yo,that’s what we said already earlier we Malawians we too much steacks on English while southafricans they do mix up,or they hate english,last tym I was talking to a cop that she was speaking ndebele and I told her I don’t speak that language and she said she can’t also speak english,unless at the office,u can see now hw other ppo they don’t care about english,pomwe inu mukuzinva nacho udolo

    18. last time the President of RPC of China refuses to speak english on an intevew he speaks chewnchu Rather…..muzizisata musamangoyankhula

    19. ndipo apa motchalewo ndiye samasekelela or police imaopa kupitapipo.ndipo ngati munthu akukusowesa mtendele kungokamutengela anyamata apa motchale amathana naye bwino mwa smart.amenewotu si anthu koma zizawo za anthu

    20. ndipo apa motchalewo ndiye samasekelela or police imaopa kupitapipo.ndipo ngati munthu akukusowesa mtendele kungokamutengela anyamata apa motchale amathana naye bwino mwa smart.amenewotu si anthu koma zizawo za anthu

  30. Thiß mayor is lunatic,how can he label us criminals while there country is full of weaked pipo,in jozi its survivor of the fttest thats why he’s thinking like that,go on carton centre and see those people that robber white people if they’re nyasalanders,dont try to bring apartheid again because this is anew generation and dont fogert that a n c shall rule 4eva,amanda

  31. ndipo nigeria , ethopians ,pakistansn, indian and somalians anenesa kuti aseka mashop awo onse mu jozi so will see kuti jozi ndi chani coz palibe aliyense wapano ali ndi shop mu jozi amadalila ma f…omwewo

    1. tizit asanabwere amene mwaatchulawo anthu amagona ndi njala kapena kuenda maliseche?munapitako kukaona kapena mmangonva?

    2. wat is uwa point am here am studying not even work…mumasangalala abale anu akamavutika? +27782188842 this my number u can even call me now

    3. Thank u Damien for uwa view ndipo since ndinawelenga story imeneyi pa soweto new paper aliyense anali okhumudwa but I wonder amalawi ena omwe ali ku durbain , P E and cape town akuoneka osangalala no its not right

    4. @ Nkunz idont see any slave on this issue you must watch uwa tongue and focus on uwa future not others as for me iwill be slave for the rest of my life coz I alwayz like study different countries then after my study will see who is slave

    5. aise to be honest they are criminals,change yo selve b 4 u expect as to feel sorry for u,a Malawi samagona mmashop kuba?kulibe crew ya motchare yomwe aMalawi ali involved,kulibe ma gulu akuba magalimoto aaa Malawians stil involved,kupanga zi dindo za fake,fake pasports an lincenses.Aint those crimes??????

    6. aMalawi amadera enawo akamapita kwawo mmawabera mmabwera ngat abale kuwayankhulisa chichewa akomedwe,ndipo anthu amujozi u dserv that indeed,mwachuluka malovo ongodalira kuba chilungamo chiyende ngat madz

    7. u know better am not here to fight mwina vuto la anthu ena ndilomwe lingapangise kuti ena avutike coz enafe we are not staying here for illigary we have papers pamene mukunenawo alibe even chilolezo zonse ndi za fake so bola nkhaniyi atayendesa a home affaires zingakhale bwino not zeno coz amavulala ndi osalakwa omwe remember 2008

    8. yeah man,that’s the fact,but any way I was just syn wat I know but I don’t wish xyno to any foregner,that’s too bad

    9. Penapake nkhani zonkhuzana ndi obwera zikamakambidwa pafupi-pafupi ndibwino ,ena akafika ku south africa akumayiwara kuti ali ndi kwao zotsatira zake amabwera modzidzimutsidwa alibe kalikose kumudzi kuno ndie chonde akulu-akulu yesetsani paja pali mau amati kwanu ndi kwanu m’nthengo munalaka njoka.

    10. ziko lililose muli ma criminals koma mkuluyu walakhula shit sangachule kuchita kunena kuti athu obwera mu city ndi ma criminal iwowo samapha ndikuba, bwanji sithole waku Mozambique ujah anamuphaaaaaaaaaa chifukwa cha fondya, every one look after money. ma south Africa anagwila ndi ma drug kwa merica ajah,

    1. inu mamedia anu akulemba zawo zopwetekesa anthu.mayor wanena kuti ma illigal forenaz akuyenela kugwidwa mu joburg coz ndima criminals according ndi constition yawo.ndepamenepo ndi xheno?kumamvesa zinthu.Xhenophobia amathamangisa aliyese osabwela kusatengela lamulo while zomwe ananena mayor zoti dziko lonse amapanga zomwezo.mesa kumalawi munagwila wakulwanda uja?mukufuna kuphesa anthu zisilu.mumaona ngati xheno ndimasewela ambwiyanu eti.zopusaa basi agalu mbudzi.

    2. mmmmmm aise usakhale ngati Mazuluwa sunawanziwa this is hate speach that can cause violence.Anthuwa anatopa kalekale ndiye akamamva azitsogoleli akuyambisa zotelezi amatengelapo advantage.Xeono ikhonza kuyamba any time from now if mabungwe kapena boma silizuzula fast.
      Luckly home affairs yayakhapo kale.

    3. ndemazula mesa nawo amayamba zinthuzo akaona mamedia?ine ndili ku cape town koma ndimadana ndimamedia monga mene achitila awa.coz mayor sanatchule za Xheno..inu mukuti Xheno,then angoniwa ayiona,mukuona ngati zikhala bwino?

  32. Us poor Malawians’ are always suspects everywhere even in our own country we don’t have freedom…..lord help us

    1. Walakwisa kaye iwe Shtocker kuyankhula zosadziwika bwino. Kodi a Malawi, ndi amene angakhale wolakwa wokha kuno ku SA? Kumaganiza kaye ukamafuna ku komenta nkhani. Azungu, amakonda kwambiri a Malawi kuposa eni dziko ngati sudziwa.

    2. mayor sanati amalawi iye anatchula mayiko angapo sikuti ndi onse akupanga mchitidwe woipa and ya azungu kukonda amalawi thus true mzanga wapita last month akukondedwa mwachabe nd azungu akutero

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