Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
The South African Government has assured fellow Africans staying in that country that it will not tolerate xenophobia related acts as reported in most parts of Gauteng Province in the past seven days. Home Affairs Minister Mr Malusi Gigaba set the record straight yesterday after a meeting with over 35 African ambassadors and high commissioners on the current wave of violence that is threatening to escalate.
Zimbabwe’s consul-general to the South Africa, Mr Batiraishe Mukonoweshuro, said they would continue engaging the host government over the potentially volatile issue.
“We held a very fruitful meeting in Johannesburg with Mr Gigaba where he assured us that they are not supportive of the xenophobic trends currently unfolding in Gauteng Province,” he said.
“He reiterated that his government’s position is that they are Pan African and that they will always embrace its fellow Africans.”
Mr Mukonoweshuro said they hadn’t received incidents of any attacks on Zimbabweans living in that country. He said the situation was still manageable adding that there was no need for Zimbabweans to panic.
“If there are any threats they must get in touch with us. It was a very robust discussion by all diplomats who were in attendance. At the same time, we want to urge our people living in South Africa to ensure that they are always documented and that they operate within the laws of the land,” he said.
Xenophobia motivated violence has been mainly driven by criminals south of the Limpopo since 2008, where over 6 000 foreigners were displaced.
In 2015, Zimbabwe had to repatriate 1 500 of its citizens from Durban when xenophobia reared its ugly face in Kwazulu Natal province. In the same year, Malawi evacuated 1 300 of its nationals by road via Beitbridge border post.