The Johannesburg Law Clinic has cautioned South Africans not to label all the suspects rounded up during last week’s raids in the Johannesburg CBD as illegal immigrants.
The organisation maintains many of the foreign nationals taking in for verification by police were in possession of the necessary documentation.
At least 600 people were arrested last week when police swooped on several shops and buildings in the CBD.
They were kept at Johannesburg Central Police Station for verification.
The raids came after clashes between traders and police with shop owners pelting stones at police vehicles.
The clinic’s Jessica Lawrence says not all those who were arrested were in the country illegally.
“Within the narrative, it’s important to not collapse all migrants into the category of the illegal migrants because that’s simply incorrect and not true and it’s also important to not collapse all goods within the category of counterfeit goods.
“A number of migrants are significantly contributing to the informal economy within the Johannesburg inner city and it’s important that in this narrative, not all individuals are illegal.”