Over 50 Zimbabweans want to be evacuated from SA

“As police camp at Hillbrow to thwart off possible attacks….”

Over 50 Zimbabweans have indicated they want to leave South Africa immediately and return back home following the xenophobic attacks that occurred in past weeks.

Violence against migrants in the neighbouring country have not ceased but continues fervently as some armed South Africans ran riot in Johannesburg Sunday demanding foreigners to leave.

Last week some of the xenophobic victims managed to find shelter in Katlehong after they were displaced.

According to the City of Ekurhuleni, as of September 5, 2019, the total number of registered xenophobic victims who sought assistance were 588 adults and 227 children.

These were accommodated at Tsolo Hall and D.H Williams Hall while the total number of people who intended to go back to their home countries were 492.

Zimbabweans registered at the shelter included 107 adults and 64 children.

57 of those said they need to go back to their country.

Mozambique had the highest numbers of victims, with 422 adults and 122 children.

397 Malawians indicated they need to go home.

Lesotho and Ghana housed one national each and both said they want to return back to their countries.

Malawi sheltered 52 adults and 32 children, of which 32 Malawians said they would go back to their country.

Other victims who were sheltered were South Africans.

In an interview with CITE, chairperson of the African Diaspora Foundation (ADF), Dr Vusumuzi Sibanda confirmed a lot of migrants wanted to leave South Africa due to the violent attacks that were taking place.

“The people that are housed at Katlehong came from Mandela informal settlement, where it probably had quite the largest number of people killed or brutally murdered in the attacks. Some of the victims were burnt including one confirmed Zimbabwean case of a man who left a wife and a six week old baby,” he said.

Dr Sibanda said organisations that were assisting the victims were now looking for transport to send the victims back.

“The victims are actually putting pressure on the government and organisations who assist with such logistics. They are saying they want to be evacuated immediately and go back to their countries after the trauma they experienced. They feel they can’t continue in South African anymore and would like to go away,” noted the chairperson.

He added that it was important to note that Sunday after a meeting held with outgoing Inkatha Freedom Party leader, Prince Mangosuthu Buthelezi near Jeppestown, after last week’s troubles, more violence occurred.

“People who left Jeppetown were dropped in Johannesburg intended to disrupt and intimidate even attack migrants who were there. But the police managed to break them away using rubber bullets and stunt grenades. The uneasiness continued into the night with police camping along Hillbrow in areas where there were quite a good number of Zulu people who dwell in there,” Dr Sibanda said.

“The situation was very tense and in Jules more shops were burnt last night and attacks seem to be heavy. The police had to come in and try to extinguish fire and the few migrant nationals gathered there ended up being evacuated from their premises, next to Jules, because they feared for their lives. This Monday morning, the situation appears a bit calm but we have received a distressing note from Pietermaritzburg that two drivers have been shot. We are yet to confirm but the people who alerted us sounded to be on the scene.”

The ADF chair appealed to migrants to be cautious and be careful as they went about their business.


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