Some of Zimbabwe’s former military personnel are entering South Africa to rob banks and promote criminality, South African Police Minister Fikile Mbalula has charged.Addressing the media at the South African Police Service training centre in Pretoria on Tuesday, Mbalula said some Zimbabweans who escaped military duties in their country have illegally entered South Africa to get involved in criminal activities.
“The five criminals who did criminality at Hyde Park and stole jewellery (in Johannesburg) were arrested. And I was attacked on Twitter for saying that they are all from Zimbabwe. Yes, they are from Zimbabwe,” the minister said
He added: “They run away from the military in Zimbabwe and they come and promote criminality here in South Africa. That is the truth.”
He said that it was difficult for the police to trace the said criminals because their details are not captured as they are in the country illegally.
“They are in the payroll of criminals and we can’t trace them. When you (as a South African) steal, let me tell you, it’s easy to trace you because I will find you somewhere in the forensics because I’ve got your fingerprints.
“But Zimbabweans? Where will I find them? They enter the country illegally and do not promote goodwill.”
Maintaining that his remarks should not be confused with xenophobia, Mbalula said that he had no problems with most Zimbabweans as they were working “for us in this country, very good Zimbabweans. They are working in our kitchens. Highly educated people.”
He added: “If there’s anything President [Robert] Mugabe did is to educate his people. The people who are working in your kitchens are doctors. The Zimbabweans are more educated than you.”
“Then there is a group of these criminals who are from the army and they come into this country. They rob, terrorise and they kill. That’s what they do. We arrest them and we’ve got them and that is it,” Mbalula said.