By Rebecca Chimjeka:
The government has said 113 Malawians have been displaced after xenophobic attacks targeting African immigrants who are accused of snatching jobs and being involved in drug trafficking in South Africa.
Foreign Affairs Ministry spokesperson, Rejoice Shumba, Tuesday confirmed the development.
“Yes, we have received reports that 113 Malawians have been displaced in the City of Ekurhuleni, Metropolitan Municipality of Gauteng Province in South Africa. [There are] 68 males, 30 females and 15 children,” Shumba said.
She said the displaced Malawians were being kept in temporary shelters in Katlehong Town, a place which South Africa Department of Disaster identified.
Shumba said Malawi Mission in South Africa had been visiting the temporary shelters to ensure the safety of the Malawians while Gift of the Givers are also supporting them.
Shumba said the ministry had contacted International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to assist in the repatriation of the victims that are willing to return to Malawi.
Last week, Malawi acting High Commissioner to South Africa, Gloria Bamusi, said the situation was tense in South Africa and advised Malawians to suspend temporarily their trips to the Rainbow Nation.
This week, Nigeria government sent an aeroplane to South Africa for Nigerians to fly free-of-charge and return home.
In retaliation, South African companies that are operating in countries such as the Democratic Republic of Congo, Zambia and Nigeria have had their properties and goods looted and damaged. Several people have also been killed in such incidents.