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19 South Africa xenophobia survivors repatriated

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By Jameson Chauluka:

Nineteen of the 105 Malawians who volunteered to return home after falling victim to recent xenophobia attacks in South Africa have arrived in the country.

The 19 jetted in on Monday evening through Kamuzu International Airport while more were expected Tuesday.

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The official Malawi Government Twitter 1ccount said the 19 were among the first group of Malawians who are being repatriated.

“This is just the first group of a total of 105 people who will be voluntarily repatriated under Pilot Action Voluntary Return and Sustainable Community Based Reintegration [initiative],” reads the tweet in part.

This is the third time that some South Africans have taken out their frustration on foreigners blaming them for taking up jobs and business opportunities meant for locals.

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Ministry of Foreign Affairs said 300 Malawians were displaced while two were injured.

The ministry’s spokesperson, Rejoice Shumba, said in an earlier interview that calm had returned in South Africa and that the South African government had assured Lilongwe that it would project all Malawians.

“The South African government had discussions with the Malawi Mission in South Africa and they assured our officials there that safety of Malawians will be guaranteed. There is calm in South Africa right now and police and the communities in which these Malawians were living are calling them back,” she said.

One of South Africa’s influential politicians, who is also Commander-in-Chief of Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF), Julius Malema, condemned the attacks, saying Africa belongs to all Africans.

Speaking when he launched the EFF manifesto recently, Malema said Africans are already suffering across the world and it was heartbreaking that they are subjects of racial hatred even on their own continent.

Similar attacks surfaced in 2014 and 2015, and the government had to hire buses to ferry Malawians home.

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