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South Africa mfecane 2 victim repatriated to Zimbabwe for burial

by Staff reporter
14 Sep 2019 at 07:19hrs | Views
The remains of a Zimbabwean man who was killed in xenophobia-motivated violence in South Africa last week has arrived in the country via Beitbridge Border Post. Isaac Sithole's body arrived on Thursday night together with 77 of his compatriots who escaped from the neighbouring country.

A total of 29 children, 25 women and 23 men were repatriated.

The victims, mainly from Mandela area in Katlehong under the City of Ekurhuleni, arrived in two buses and a hearse bearing the body of Sithole (34) of Chipinge. They were escorted by Home Affairs officials from the neighbouring country. Sithole was assaulted, stabbed before being set on fire by South African hoodlums.

The Government of Zimbabwe is funding the evacuation of the victims from South Africa and transportation to their homes and has also activated the Civil Protection Unit to assist the returnees with social protection issues.

Zimbabwe's ambassador to South Africa Mr David Hamadziripi said on Thursday that citizens volunteered to be repatriated. Beitbridge Civil Protection Committee chairperson, Ms Skhangazile Mafu, said the returnees were taken to the Social Services reception and support centre for further assistance.

"They arrived late last night and our hope is to get everyone to their homes by the end of the day. We are saddened by the loss of life and injury to people and loss of properties," she said.

"We are providing them with transport to their respective homes, food hampers, food allowances, transport allowances and medication for those who are ill. At the moment we are doing registration and profiling after which they will be dispatched to their respective homes at the shortest possible time.

"In addition we are providing documentation services for those who lost their identification particulars or those with children born in the neighbouring country and are not documented."

Ms Mafu continued; "The process is going on very well and we are ready to deal with any eventualities should more people be repatriated from South Africa."

Ms Mafu said the buses will take the victims to Bulawayo and Harare. Those, going on different routes she said, will receive transport and food allowance besides food hampers.

"In case of children we will give them milk and diapers, while adults will get mealie meal, cooking oil, soap, salt, relish, washing soap among other basic needs," said Ms Mafu.

When the news crew arrived at the reception and support centre at Beitbridge yesterday, medical staff had offered psycho-social support, trauma counselling and medication to 12 people. The reception centre has the capacity to carry at least 1 000 people at any given time.

A further, 26 had been assisted with documentation processes at the Registrar General's Department. The majority of those seeking identification particulars were between four months and 17 years old. Xenophobia-motivated violence has become a perennial head ache for African nationals in South Africa.

The violence has been driven mainly by criminals south of the Limpopo. In 2008, more than 6 000 foreigners among them Zimbabweans were displaced in that country, while in 2015, Zimbabwe repatriated 1 500 of its citizens from Durban when xenophobia reared its ugly face in KwaZulu Natal province.

Source - chronicle