#MashabaInAction: Making Rosettenville Great Again

On Wednesday evening Johannesburg Mayor Herman Mashaba swooped in on Rosettenville with SAPS in tow, and began raiding residences.

In a series of tweets, the mayor broadcasted his findings and declarations that crime would not rule under his watch. Many residents seemed thankful for the intervention and #MashabaInAction was soon trending.

Yet, at the same time, it’s unclear whether the intervention was successful or primarily cosmetic. Some on social media were calling it out as a publicity stunt with shallow results. The pertinent question is whether the kingpins and those in charge were targeted – or whether it was primarily those working under said kingpins, such as sex workers and illegal immigrants looking to get by.

Some of Mashaba’s focus seemed to have been on checking for IDs, illegal dwellings, and why residences’ lights were on but the prepaid meters empty. Some compared Mashaba’s tactics to that of apartheid rule in terms of harassing people who weren’t necessarily involved in malicious activity. This is even more concerning if those targeted were primarily immigrants, as it smacks of xenophobia.

Irrespective of this, Mashaba indicated that this would be one of many raids to follow, and posted a spiffy media card declaring his war on crime and “rot” that the ANC had allowed Rosettenville to descend into. This is despite the fact that the Rosettenville ward has been run by the Democratic Alliance since 1994.

As Rosettenville community leader Simphiwe Hlaba told TimesLIVE, Mashaba seemed oblivious to this fact.

“We are not happy with him at all because on the Sunday that he came here‚ he decided to be politically opportunistic‚ blaming the previous administration‚” Hlaba said, “we don’t know what he means by the previous administration because the ward we are in has never been run by any other organisation except the Democratic Alliance. This is since 1994.”

Let’s just hope this war on crime doesn’t just target the poor and immigrants in Mashaba’s efforts to make Johannesburg great again.

Featured image via Twitter