Thupeyo Muleya Beitbridge Bureau
Government yesterday repatriated the second batch of 10 Zimbabweans, seven men and three women, who were affected by xenophobic attacks in the City of Ekurhuleni in Gauteng Province.
They are part of 171 Zimbabweans who were caught up in the disturbances in Gauteng province alone.
The first batch of 29 children, 25 women and 23 men arrived in the country via Beitbridge aboard two buses on Thursday last week.
They were also accompanied by a hearse carrying the remains of Isaac Sithole (34), who was assaulted, stabbed and set alight by a mob.
Zimbabwe’s envoy to the neighbouring country, Mr David Hamadziripi said the Tsolo Hall in Katlegong, where immigrants sought refuge had been closed since the situation was normalising.
“The hall was closed yesterday (Tuesday) and the remaining group of 10 Zimbabweans were voluntarily repatriated home.
“They arrived in the country via Beitbridge Border Post at around 2am and would be assisted further by the Government to get to their respective homes,” he said.
Upon arrival at Beitbridge Border Post they were welcomed by the local Civil Protection Committee officials who took them to the Government-run Reception and Support Centre.
The group then received post trauma counselling, medication, food hampers, food allowances and transport to their respective homes.
South Africa’s President Cyril Ramaphosa has since apologised to Africa over the orgy of violence against immigrants meted by the natives.
Speaking during the State Funeral of the country’s Founding Father and former President Cde Robert Mugabe, the South Africa Head of State said the recent flare of violence went against the spirit of oneness that was championed by pan-African stalwarts like Cde Mugabe and the late Nelson Mandela.
“I stand before you as fellow Africans to express my regret, and to apologise for what has happened in our country. What has happened in South Africa goes against the principles of the unity of African people that President Mugabe and President Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo and the great leaders of our continent stood for,” he said.
President Ramaphosa this week sent envoys to several heads of states and governments across Africa to deliver special solidarity messages of events south of the Limpopo River.
The teams will visit Nigeria, Niger, Ghana, Senegal, Tanzania, Zambia and DR Congo.
The recent violence in South Africa has been widely condemned in many African countries and in some instances people have been looting or boycotting South African-owned businesses.
Xenophobic-motivated violence has been mainly driven by criminals in the neighbouring country and in 2008, over 6 000 foreigners were left displaced in that country.
In 2015, Zimbabwe evacuated 1 500 of its citizens from Durban when xenophobia reared its ugly head in populous Kwazulu Natal province.