Global South Against Xenophobia: Public Statement

global south against xenophobia

PUBLIC STATEMENT: Swift Action against Perpetrators of Threats made against HSF Director

Global South Against Xenophobia brings to your attention a threat made by a xenophobic individual on social media against the Director of the Helen Suzman Foundation (HSF), Ms Nicole Fritz and her children. This requires swift action against the perpetrators by the South African Police Service(SAPS) and South African Human Rights Commission (SAHRC).

In the Twitter post currently circulating, a certain Freeman Bhengu (@zibuseman) writes: “We are watching her, and we know where she stays, her daughter and their closed offices in Parktown, we will deal with her tomorrow @nicole_fritz” (Posted on Monday, 10/04/2023 at 8:51).

We understand that other such threats have been made against the litigants, which should also be investigated and the perpetrators brought to book. We undertake to forward any further such information to the SAHRC, with whom we have lodged a formal complaint on the matter.

The HSF is currently engaged in litigation against DHA Minister Aaron Motsoaledi for cancelation of the Zimbabwean Exemption Permit (ZEP), which will seriously impact approximately 178 000 Zimbabwean nationals living in South Africa for over at least 10 years. The above threat on Twitter was posted on the evening before the case hearing in the Pretoria High Court, and has come to our attention in the week of the hearings.

We bring this to the notice of senior SAPS and the SAHRC in order that proper steps be taken for the perpetrator to be identified, apprehended and charged. Anyone has the right to disagree with the HSF, Ms Fritz or any organization or person bringing such litigation against the DHA or undertaking human rights defence work for the rights of immigrants in South Africa or other vulnerable groups. However, such persons are prohibited by law from making threats, stalking or communicating to others the desire to physically harm litigants, human rights activists and their families and place of work.