The ANC has issued a statement to the Australian High Commission after Australian MP and opposition leader, Matthew Guy associated Johannesburg with crime.
Guy made the remarks after a prison breakout took place at Melbourne’s Malmsbury Youth Justice Centre on Wednesday (25 January).
Speaking on Victoria premier Daniel Andrew’s failure to address Melbourne’s increasing crime rate he said that Andrews was: “turning Melbourne into the Johannesburg of the South Pacific.”
The ANC has subsequently issued an official statement asking Guy and the Australian High Commission to clarify what he meant.
“The ANC calls on the High Commission of Australia in Pretoria to clarify the comments made by Mr. Matthew Guy MP‚” the party said in a statement on Thursday, 26 December.
“These comments are regrettable‚ and feed into lazy stereotypes of African cities as crime havens‚” the ANC said.
“They serve to tarnish the reputation of the City of Johannesburg – known widely as the gateway to Africa; and regularly cited amongst several indices as a world-class city.
The ANC also laid the blame at the feet of current Johannesburg mayor, Herman Mashaba – saying that it was commentary from Mashaba about Joburg being crime-riddled that had obviously reached Australian ears.
This is the second time Guy has criticised Australia’s crime levels using South Africa as a reference. In August 2016, he said that increasing levels of car hijackings in the region made “residents think they are living in Johannesburg, not Victoria”.