Mugabe ‘disgusted’ with SA violence

via Mugabe ‘disgusted’ with SA violence – New Zimbabwe 18/04/2015

PRESIDENT Robert Mugabe on Saturday expressed shock and disgust at attacks on immigrants in neighbouring South Africa and said his government was working to bring back home affected Zimbabwean citizens.

At least four people have been killed in a wave of anti-immigrant violence in South Africa that started two weeks ago in the port city of Durban and spread to Johannesburg.

Mugabe, who is chairman of the African Union (AU) and the regional SADC grouping said all Africans in South Africa should be treated with dignity.

“I wish to express our sense of shock and disgust as we abhor the incident that happened in Durban where some five or six Africans were burnt to death deliberately by some members of the South African Zulu community,” Mugabe said in his address to mark the country’s 35th independence anniversary.

“We understand that it was a protest against the influx into South Africa of citizens of neighboring countries.

“The act of treating other Africans in that horrible way can never be condoned by anyone. We say on behalf of the AU that must never happen again, never happen again in South Africa or in any other country.”

An estimated one million Zimbabweans live in South Africa having escaped an economic crisis and political violence at home over the last 15 years.

Mugabe spoke amid a wave of xenophobic violence in the South African cities of Durban and Johannesburg which erupted last week and has claimed about six people so far, among them one Zimbabwean.

Some reports have linked the current wave of the xenophobic violence to anti-foreigner utterances made by Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini last month. The King has denied the allegations, saying he was misquoted.

Periodic outbreaks of anti-immigrant violence in South Africa have been blamed on high unemployment, widespread poverty and glaring income disparities.

At least two Zimbabweans – a woman and a toddler – are among six foreigners reported to have been killed in the violence, which broke out after president Robert Mugabe and his wife, Grace, made a rare state visit to South Africa last week.

No-one knows exactly how many have made the perilous trip across the crocodile-infested Limpopo River to escape Mugabe’s regime and the poverty Africa’s oldest president is accused of causing.

Worried about growing unrest, the South African government has made repeated attempts to force illegal migrants to regularise their stay or leave, introducing a Special Dispensation Permit that is only for Zimbabweans.

But most prefer not to make themselves known to the authorities and continue living in South Africa illegally, often in shanty towns. South Africans accuse them of fuelling crime and taking scarce jobs.

Evacuation of displaced Zimbabweans

Meanwhile Zimbabwe will this weekend evacuate more than 1,000 of its citizens from South Africa in the wake of the xenophobic attacks which at have displaced hundreds of foreign migrants.

Embassy officials said they had toured “ransacked” homes left behind by Zimbabwean migrants in the city of Durban. Some homes had been set alight.

Some 800 Zimbabweans have fled to a makeshift refugee camp in Chatsworth township. They are among an estimated 8,500 foreigners staying in camps and at police stations in and around Durban and Johannesburg.

Isaac Moyo, Zimbabwe’s ambassador to South Africa, said most of his country’s people living in normally peaceful Durban, a palm-fringed seaside resort which is popular with foreign tourists, had had “sleepless nights” and wanted to go home.

Many are without passports and identity papers.

“We’re seized with the issue of documenting people and providing them with food and shelter,” Moyo told a state-owned newspaper.

“We’ve had assurances from the host government that the situation is now calm, but people are still sceptical because the attacks are perpetrated during the night.”

The Zimbabwe Business Network in South Africa said many displaced Zimbabweans were “sleeping in open fields and [on] pavements without any shelter or blankets”.

South African police will escort the Zimbabweans who have been given repatriation papers to the Beitbridge border post, where they will be handed over to the International Organisation for Migration (IOM)

Elsehwere, the Malawian government has hired buses to repatriate 500 of its nationals, Information Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa said on Friday.

He urged South Africa to provide greater protection for immigrants, echoing demands from China and the African Union.


  • comment-avatar
    John Gwizo 7 years ago

    President Mugabe must take responsibility for fanning xenophobic behaviour by the South Africans. He challenged them to do that when he told them in Soweto that he does not want to see whites. How on earth can he be surprised by the verocity of his agitation. Leaders on state visits must keep their foul minds shut when in foreign lands and forign leaders must not shut their mouths when some folish visitors make stupid statements.

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    Tinomunamataishe 7 years ago

    Surely Mugabe doesn’t have the moral authority to say anything about this. He has in the past insulted people who have to come to Zimbabwe from neighbouring countries at one time calling them “those with no totems” and similar names.

    He has and still encourages attacks on minorities and among these are commercial farmers. He can now see what his kind of hatred can cause in the society.

    He cannot be “disgusted” by this and not the other.

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    Jono Austin 7 years ago

    …says the buffoon who has ‘degrees in violence’ Who says we must strike fear into the heart of the white man, who butchers 30000 Gukurahundi victims.

  • comment-avatar
    toperasu chirandu 7 years ago

    Mr. President, Chairman of AU, Chairman of SADC: Sir what is happening here is what you have been preaching all this time – the supremacy of violence. Gukurahundi was a big statement, killing and marring white farmers was the second statement and massacring the opposition in those past elections was the third statement. These were Africans and most of them were black and all of them Zimbabweans. They were not foreigners. Now, Sir, you decry the murder of a handful of blacks in a foreign land. Aren’t these the degrees of Violence that you said you possessed?. Is it now abhorrent for South Africans to copy your shinning examples?. Why is this abhorrent and yet the murder of 20000 of your neighbours is not even acknowledged? The murder, rape, and burning (Zaka) of fellow Zimbabweans should be equally abhorrent. Please spare us the crocodile tears.
    Sir, you displaced millions from towns in your new social engineering. You caused so much pain and suffering to totally black people, your own subjects, by trying to deurbanise them. You have allowed the police to crush and break bones. The images we see from SA are not shocking to us. We have seen them in our own backyards under your watch. Please, Sir, pick up another topic, but stay away from the topic “violence” especially violence on blacks.