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Government cautions South Africa-based Malawians

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Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation Ministry has warned South Africa-based Malawians to stay away from communities where there are incidences of violence in the Rainbow Nation.

Shops and houses belonging to African migrants and trucks have been looted and set alight, especially in Johannesburg and Pretoria Central Business Districts (CBDs) in the latest spate of xenophobic attacks.

South Africans accuse African migrants of snatching jobs meant for locals and drug trafficking.

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Foreign Affairs spokesperson, Rejoice Shumba, said if under threat, such Malawians should report to Malawi High Commission in South Africa.

“As a precautionary measure, the Malawi government is advising all Malawians living in South Africa to stay away from communities where there are incidences of violence. If under threat, Malawians are advised to present themselves to the nearest police station and immediately report to the High Commission in Pretoria or the consulate in Johannesburg,” Shumba said.

She advised truck drivers and those who want to travel to South Africa by road to consider suspending such trips until the security situation improves.

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South Africa-based Malawian Mphatso Kantambe said many Malawians are now leaving in fear.

“When Malawians want to go to work, they have to board a taxi and these are areas that have been affected. If you get a lift to go to work, when coming back it becomes a challenge so this has affected many areas, especially the CBDs. The other problem is that even your neighbour knows that you are a foreigner,” he said.

Malawi acting High Commissioner to South Africa Gloria Bamusi told The Daily Times that the situation was tense in the country but no Malawian had reported that they have been attacked.

Nigeria government has since promised to send an aeroplane to South Africa so that Nigerians can 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.

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