Mbalula sparks diplomatic spat

South African Police Minister Fikile Mbalula

South African Police Minister Fikile Mbalula

Mashudu Netsianda and Nqobile Tshili, Chronicle Reporters
THE Government has engaged South Africa over remarks by its Police Minister Fikile Mbalula alleging that the Zimbabwean ex-soldiers were responsible for violent crimes in the neighbouring country.

In an interview yesterday, Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to South Africa Mr Isaac Moyo said the embassy was shocked by Mr Mbalula’s claims, which he described as baseless and likely to strain bilateral relations between the two countries.

He said the two governments have engaged over the matter, but could not reveal details of the engagement.

“We’ve many structures in our bilateral cooperation arrangements that are specifically there to assist one another and this includes the police and the defence forces. The South African government has not approached us to even tell us about what we saw being flighted in the media,” he said.

“In fact, we got surprised by the inclusion of certain elements in the South African Police Minister’s statements claiming that people in the Zimbabwe National Army don’t retire, and that they are running away from uncle Bob. We think this is casting unnecessary assertions and we know that retirements and resignations in the ZNA are as ordinary and normal as anything.”

Ambassador Moyo said the claims by Minister Mbalula that Zimbabweans were promoting criminality were not true.

“The claims in this regard are completely false and we think it is regrettable to peddle things that are not correct and to then use them as grounds for issuing certain positions. We have already engaged the South African government,” he said.

State Security Minister Kembo Mohadi also urged Mr Mbalula to use official bilateral platforms to raise any grievance against Zimbabweans in the neighbouring country.

Mr Mbalula while addressing the media at the South African Police Services (SAPS) training centre in Pretoria on Tuesday said Zimbabwean ex-soldiers were robbing banks in the neighbouring country.

He alleged that some Zimbabweans escape their military duties and illegally get into South Africa where they resort to criminal activities.

“There are people who come from Zimbabwe and cross the line here. They run away from the military in Zimbabwe and they come and promote criminality here in South Africa. That is the truth, where should I tell that truth?” Mr Mbalula was quoted as saying.

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.

Mr Mbalula said that he had no problems with Zimbabweans as they are working in South Africa in “our kitchens” and that they are highly educated.

Cde Mohadi said Mr Mbalula chose to use a wrong platform to grumble instead of using proper bilateral forums.

“We have bilateral platforms such as the Zimbabwe- South Africa joint permanent commission and bi-annual conferences where government to government issues are discussed. Why doesn’t he (Mr Mbalula) engage his Zimbabwean counterpart (Home Affairs Minister Ignatius Chombo) at bilateral level and come up with a solution rather than doing it through the Press?” he asked.

Cde Mohadi said the South African minister’s remarks were in bad taste and uncalled for.

“I can’t speak on behalf of Minister Chombo, but I am saying there are forums where we discuss these issues and ideally that is where the South African minister should have discussed the issue and certainly what he did is uncalled for,” he said.

Cde Mohadi said Zimbabwe and South African government officials in the security sector met every year under the permanent joint commission to discuss various issues of mutual interest affecting the two countries.

“We also have bi-annual conferences to discuss issues which are of mutual interest to ourselves,” he said.

The controversial South African minister last week torched a storm on twitter when he announced that South African police arrested five Zimbabweans in connection with an armed robbery at a jewellery shop at a Johannesburg mall.

There were mixed reactions to Mr Mbalula’s tweet. Some were of the view that the minister should not have mentioned the nationality of the armed robbers as that might fuel xenophobic attacks, but others said there was nothing wrong with that.

Mr Mbalula’s penchant for tweets in his new job saw him accused of xenophobia although the minister strongly denied it. He is not new to controversy as he has a history of making controversial comments. In 2014, when he was Sports and Recreation Minister, Mr Mbalula made news again when he made derogatory remarks about Kenyan swimmers which sparked a twitter war.

Mbalula was speaking about quotas for black players in South African sports teams at a Press briefing in Johannesburg when he reportedly made the remark about Kenya and their athletes. He reportedly said South Africa would not be like Kenya and send athletes to the Olympics to “drown in the pool.”

This outraged Kenyans who took to twitter using the hashtag #someonetellsouthafrica



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  • libertyatliberty

    Njabulo:This one of those Ministers who is trying to endear himself to the South Africans by using Zimbabwean ex soldiers as scapegoats. These are unsubstantiated generalisations. This Minister must think before broadcasting such rubbish .If SA Police caught three or four ex Zimbabwean soldiers doing armed robbery ,that does not mean that all ex –soldiers who are in SA are involved in the spate of armed robberies that are obtaining in SA. South Africa has a high crime rate and that is known universally. The statistics show that most perpetrators of armed robbery crimes, are committed by none other than the South African Police. Ironically , he is the Minister of that department. Instead of him introducing strict policies that would deter the SA Police officers from engaging in a spate of armed robberies that are taking place in SA ,he shifts the blame to Zimbabwean ex soldiers. Thus using them as scapegoats. Zimbabwean solidiers are some of the most disciplined people in Africa. The fact that two or three were involved in the crimes of armed robbery in SA, does not mean all of them do that when they go to SA. Studies of crime in SA shows that crimes in SA are committed by SA people and other foreigners. There is no document that states that most crimes in SA are committed by Zimbabweans only. Of course ,Zimbabweans also commit crimes in SA ,but it would be wrong to blame them for all the crimes taking place in SA. We have Nigerians who sell drugs in SA ,but they too work hand in glove with lazy SAs to commit those crimes. If you have lived or visited SA you will agree with me that this Minister is only trying to appease the SA people by publishing such kind of statements. That he claims those statements are not xenophobic ,is not true, because some SA people might be motivated to kill or hate Zimbabweans with the assumption that they are the ones that are engaged in killing and robbing banks in SA. The media has great influence on is part of what is called popular culture. What a person who is in the public domain says, people tend to take seriously .Being a criminal in SA ,is something that the SA people are proud of. And the public does not hand over any criminal to the police. lnstead they protect anyone who is a criminal .The SA Police are arguably the most corrupt Police Force in the world. Again ,he is not aware of that as the Minister in charge of the Police in SA.

    • bz

      uncle Bob said kalangas are uneducated and come to South Africa to commit violent crime .. . is Mbalula not taking after the granny himself?

      • Car Langa

        You are correct, our own President said Kalangas are illiterate and are the ones who go to SA to commit petty crimes which paradoxically, the minister Mbalula is alluding to.

        • THE TRUTH

          He is the President and Khalangas are his citizens. So is it not his responsibility to make them literate?

          Being a President is not about stealing state resources for your family, flying all over the world and going about shaking hands. If you cant do it; leave office and let those who can, do it!!

      • James


    • Kuta Kinte

      I have to agree with your well thought contribution. At least you make value to such a platform. The SA Minister should have made many engagements with the similar ministry from his sister country in Zimbabwe rather than being careless with utterances. Considering his position, one should think of repercussions before such a public pronouncement because these are the main causes of xenophobia where we have seen only fellow blacks being treated as foreigners in SA.

  • Kulez

    So much for “bilateral platforms”

  • Prophet

    Not surprising at all….Zimbabwe has Prof Jonathan Moyo and South Africa is equally blessed in having Fuckoff Mbalula.He is orders South African Police to shoot to kill and look what is happening,the police are now being gunned down like Falcons. He shall bury his head when he meets his Zim counterparts in the security sector..Like our Jonso,the Prophet says just await and see what will befall Mbalula as he wants to Zimbabweans being massacred again..No no no pse God intervene before this moron wipe our kith and kin under his Shoot to kill Policy

    • MakhosiXamu

      Your comment ndoda ….kikikikikiiiiiiiiiii. Reckless politicians have big tongues that are worthless, shame.

      • Professor Nut

        A politician must have a big Tongue or else he is useless.

      • Ntwabi

        Umbalula bakithi ngubani ozathumela igawulo nxa aafowethu bengaxotshwa emzansi

    • Professor Nut

      Wena Profit you are too used to listening to lies. Lies have become your truth.

  • bulawayo born

    The problem in SA,is the corrupt police (bribes and laziness) )and the people who don’t report crime,in SA you can be robbed in a day light people watching benga yezi nex to catch the criminals or to report them to the police

    • we the people

      same as in zimbabwe

      • Toti

        Which Zimbabwe are you talking about? When did you last live in Zimbabwe?

        • Professor Nut

          His is talking about our Zimbabwe. Are you on the moon or what?

          • amazon siren

            don be stupid wena .. his talking abt lawlessness in zim get ur stupid head out under e rock u being living in

          • Professor Nut

            KKKK A rock uh? Do you even know who I am answering? Are you on crack or something?

      • Ntwabi

        bhururu hamba oyentshontsha kosekusile ubanjwe uzobona vele akudingi polisa abantu will deal with you

    • amazon siren

      wats so different abt zim amapolisa wona awayenzi ama crimes kuma roadblocks who reporting thm

    • Fairer

      Same as in Zim and people will only take photos with their smart cell phones.A good example was the murder of a woman in Gweru in which the victim was butchered while neighbours watched and did nothing to the criminal.

  • Freedom Fighter

    Deep down we all know he is not lying about the violent criminal inclination of sections of the undocumented Zimbabwean community. Statistics prove Zimbabweans Mozambiqueans and South Africans engage in violent activities. Nigerians and Ghanaians are perpertrators of economic and nacotic activities.

    Zimbabwean authorities want South Africa to channel her grieves thru useless fora so that Zim authories can control information from such discussion. South Africa should tell her own story. Zim must live with the truth. If Zim is not happy recall your citizens and see who will heed your call. Better still close your borders and see who gives a damn.

    Trueth hurts.

    • Muturikwa we Gweru.

      Both countries will give a damn because there are many Zimbabwean doctors, engineers etc, who are commanding the daily activities there and if they are suddenly withdrawn, there will be mourning and gnashing of teeth. At least you are right to mention that the whole armed criminality is a result of a COMBINATION of Zimbabweans, Mozambiqueans and South Africans themselves.

  • Mike Ndlovu

    it is a fact some of our brothers from Zim are indeed involved in these violent crimes, i personally know of one such syndicate they never work but have everything

    • Muturikwa we Gweru.

      Then they should deal with those people and not to umbrella every Zimbabwean in an environment where almost anyone who wants to be in possession of a gun can EASILY have it.

  • makhosi

    Lets fix our beloved motherland. These SAfricans are stupid that’s why they still worship the whiteman to this day. Such derogatory will cease.

    • Professor Nut

      What derogatorily. We have Policemen committing robberies right here in Zimbabwe.

      • George Bango

        say it again and again, Zimbabwean Police Rob citizens at day light and its acceptable,

  • Mhlakazanhlansi

    Mbalula is right … truth hurts
    And these are things that pple know and say daily

    • Anti Evil

      You should speak of “truth” after wide consultations especially if you are concerned about bilateral repercussions. He might be right, but summarizing and broadcasting to the whole world that armed criminality in South Africa is mainly from runaway soldiers from Zimbabwe, is a very careless bilateral impetuous outburst. How many South Africans themselves are in possession of firearms? How many other nationals are in South Africa right now.

      • amazon siren

        ulilema did mbalua talk abt south africans problems in his statement do south africans come to zim n committ crimes or in anyother country

        • Anti Evil

          Comprehension should have been your major problem at school.

          • Mhlakazanhlansi

            perhaps interpretation and reasoning is yours!!
            Mbalula is right. Kanti vele sidingani emazweni abanye if we are this clever and good!!!
            Leave SA alone……….for crying out loud!!!!!

          • amazon siren

            I majored in english u moron wena isikhiwa sakho owasifunda sukhulile probably wapassa ngo c u barely made it

        • Mhlakazanhlansi

          true Amazon Siren … uqedile

  • uBhonklanti

    Mbalula spoke the truth. In RSA some Zimbos are involved in crime and in most cases its the armed cash in transit robberies that we will witness. Next in line is hijacking of trucks carrying cellphones and of late jewellery stores. We have to admit that some of our brothers and sisters are up to no good in RSA

    • anony



      Are they committing those crimes singlehandedly, without the involvement of any South African?

      If South Africans are also involved, then lets talk about crime and deal with the causes of the crime and stop this sensational talk about the criminals’ nationality.

      In many cases, it is the South Africans themselves who team up with foreigners in committing these crimes. You can not as a foreigner arrive in SA, knowing nobody and not even knowing the country, and end up with a fraudulent SA ID document, without the involvement of a South African somewhere. Its impossible. Crime is crime – it knows no nationality.

      People should stop talking as if there will be zero crime in SA tomorrow, if all foreigners were eliminated today. Anyone of any nationality commits crime anywhere in this world, including South Africans. There are plenty of them waiting to hang in Malaysia for drug trafficking with Nigerians!!

  • amazon siren

    lol wat bilateral platforms…..let e truth be told

  • Danny

    Why is it wrong all of s sudden when its Mbalula saying the truth about Zimbos? Some of our leaders say bad remarks about “Britain and its allies” or even some small tribes here in Zim. Please don’t remove a speck in someone’s eye before you remove a log in yours.

    • Muturikwa we Gweru.

      Just consider the results of such a statement. When your cousin brother is tied to a used tyre with petrol and burnt, that is when you will talk of the other type of truth. It is called xenophobia and maybe you have been lucky not to have a relative who has been a victim of such.

  • Cde Male Goat

    Cde Razmatazz Mbalula is telling the truth. The MaNdex are causing havoc down South.

    • Anti Evil

      This is an example of failing to make progressive contributions on this good platform. Why giving us your tribal utterances which only work against unity and prosperity? While Mbalula is being national, you choose to be tribal. You better be Cde Female Goat.

    • Edward Paul

      My observation shows that the ZNA is now mostly composed of your tribe Cde. Male Goat, Very few are MaNdex

      • we the people

        Thats true, there is no way shonas would leave their precious country to be protected maNdex

  • Kuta Kinte

    I can advise that we will change the tone of some of our comments when we see some serious xenophobic violence as a result of such pronouncements by the SA minister. There are bilateral avenues which should have been exploited and summarizing that armed criminality of SA banks is mainly from runaway Zimbabwean soldiers is just some form of impetuous outburst which has costly repercussions.I am not supporting any form of criminal activities by our fellow Zimbabweans in SA because it is quite an embarrassment. I have seen the video clip and discovered that the SA minister has that show-off drama character where he can say anything to be motivated by the clapping of hands.

    • Sidlagwayi

      Do you expect South Africans to clap their hands and smile at you when you are destroying their country? Of course they will attack you what do you expect ??

  • Goat Currency

    South Africa has the right to speak out
    Someone on this forum using the pen name “Kunta Kinte” has copied the penname

  • dax

    Solution fix zim.While its not true that zimboz are responsible for crime in sa but as long we scavenge in that country we shall be blamed for everything.

  • i got surprized too!

    “we got surprised” is this english? we are ruled by uneducated clowns in Zim, shame!