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Xenophobia victims back home

At least 76 Malawians who were stranded due to xenophobia attacks in South Africa have arrived in the country.

Out of the 76 people, 14 are children, including a three-week old girl.

Winess Umali said he was almost killed by thugs who demanded that he surrender his and family members’ mobile phones.

“I was on the road with my wife when we came face-to-face with them. They demanded that we give them our phones and, when we refused, they threatened to kill my wife. One of them grabbed my wife and I saw him blandishing a long knife. That is when I pushed my wife to safety. They hacked my hand and head,” he said.

Welcoming the people home at Njamba Freedom Park in Blantyre, Secretary for the Vice President and Commissioner of Disasters, Wilson Moleni, said the government had spent in excess of K33 million on the exercise.

Office of the Malawi High Commissioner to South Africa reported that 113 Malawians were stranded because of the attacks.

Moleni said this was a voluntary repatriation exercise.

Malawi Red Cross Society spokesperson, Felix Washoni, said they provided first aid services and helped victims connect with their families.

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