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Mfecane 2: 96 Zimbabweans repatriated from SA as xenophobic attacks intensify

by Staff reporter
12 Sep 2019 at 22:31hrs | Views
GOVERNMENT yesterday repatriated 96 Zimbabweans from Gauteng province in South Africa as xenophobia motivated attacks intensified in the neighbouring country.

The group is part of the 171 Zimbabweans who were affected by the disturbances which left at least 12 people dead and hundreds others displaced. Already Government has activated the Civil Protection Committee to assist the returnees upon arrival at Beitbridge Border Post.

These will be helped with social protection issues at the Social Services run Reception and Support Centre formerly operated by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM).  

The place has a carrying capacity of around 1 000 people at any given time.

Zimbabwe's Ambassador to South Africa, Mr David Hamadziripi, said the group had volunteered to be repatriated to their homes in Zimbabwe.  

"A total of 171 Zimbabweans were affected and 96 have decided to come home.

"The Government of Zimbabwe paid for their repatriation," said Mr Hamadziripi.

Sources in the neighbouring country said the group, who had been seeking refuge at Tsolo Hall in the City of Ekurhuleni, had left Gauteng around midday in two buses. They were expected to arrive in the country via Beitbridge Border Post last night.

"The numbers of those seeking repatriation keep fluctuating since many have gone back to the community. The repatriation programme is being done by authorities on a voluntary basis," said the source.

The Chronicle gathered that some have gone back to their homes after South African security services stepped in to quell the violence while others have moved to other towns where they have integrated with local communities.

The 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 business.

Xenophobia motivated violence has been mainly driven by criminals south of the Limpopo since 2008 where over 6 000 foreigners were left displaced in that country. 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.

Source - chronicle