BY REX MPHISA
A SOUTH AFRICAN court has granted R3 000 bail each to seven nationals charged with the murder of Zimbabwean immigrant Elvis Nyathi last month.
Initially, 14 people were arrested in connection with Nyathi’s gruesome murder, but the other seven were released owing to lack of evidence.
The remaining seven were released on bail yesterday at the Randburg Magistrate’s Court.
Nyathi was set on fire on April 7 by a vigilante group in Diesploot, which claimed that it was looking for criminals.
The mob was allegedly targeting foreign nationals in that country on accusations that they were stealing jobs reserved for locals..
The accused persons face charges of murder, attempted murder, kidnapping, robbery with aggravating circumstances, assault with intent to do grievous bodily harm, and extortion.
Nyathi’s remains were repatriated to Zimbabwe on April 16 for burial at Umvutsha cemetery in Bulawayo.
Government granted him a State-assisted funeral while South Africa-based funeral insurance company Zororo-Pumulani repatriated his body free of charge.
Nyathi worked in Fourways, a Johannesburg suburb as a gardener.
His killing attracted widespread condemnation.
The United Nations said it was deeply concerned about ongoing incidents of violence, intimidation and harassment of foreign nationals in South Africa.
Opposition Citizens Coalition for Change’s Nkulumane MP Kucaca Phulu this week appealed to the government to make “serious” diplomatic interventions to protect Zimbabweans in South Africa as xenophobic fears intensify.
Phulu asked the Minister of Foreign Affairs and International Trade, Frederick Shava, to make a ministerial statement concerning Zimbabweans who were under grave threat in South Africa.