Outrage over SA xenophobia

HARARE - Human Rights Watch (HRW) has condemned the xenophobic attacks on foreigners in South Africa, saying they present a litmus test for President Jacob Zuma’s government.

This comes as looting spread to Verulam, north of Durban, on Tuesday night, following a day of clashes between locals, foreigners, and police in the city centre, and as foreign-owned shops in Johannesburg CBD started closing their doors after rumours that a mob was  threatening violence.

Dewa Mavhinga, HRW southern Africa senior researcher, said the developments can dent SA’s reputation as the most democratic State in Africa.

“UNHCR (the UN Refugee Agency) says three camps holding victims of xenophobic attacks in Durban contain about 2 400 people,” Mavhinga said. “The target of the widespread violence was African immigrants, mostly those from Zimbabwe and Somalia.

“If unchecked, these xenophobic attacks could soon engulf Durban and spread to other parts of South Africa. For a country that projects itself as an African human rights champion, the litmus test will be how the South African government stems this dangerous tide of xenophobia”.

President Robert Mugabe met his SA counterpart last week amid the chaos. However, the two leaders skirted the catastrophe.

President Jacob Zuma’s administration has denied that the attacks were xenophobic, describing them as “pure acts of criminality”.

Mavhinga said it was important that the government and law enforcement agencies admit the attacks are xenophobic if the scourge is to be effectively contained.

“The first step is for the police and the government to publicly acknowledge that on-going attacks on foreign nationals and their property are xenophobic and then take decisive action to tackle it,” he said.

“This should include prioritising reforms to combat xenophobia, ensuring proper police investigations of xenophobic crimes, and holding to account those responsible.

“Reckless and inflammatory public statements, such as those made by Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini prior to the Durban violence, should be unambiguously condemned. And those who cross the line into direct incitement to violence against migrants should be prosecuted.”

Zwelithini said foreigners should leave the country. In the past few days, several demonstrations have been done calling for the pulling down of foreign icons’ statues in SA.

Joy Mabenge, regional coordinator for the Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition, said they noted with regret, escalating cases of violent attacks targeted at foreign nationals in South Africa.

“We are particularly worried with the situation unfolding in the KwaZulu Natal (KZN) province, where a number of foreign nationals, including Zimbabweans, have suffered physical and psychological harm,” Mabenge said.

“It is our view that these attacks go against the grain of humanity and severely compromise the people-to-people solidarity which has existed between South Africa and her fellow African countries for many years.

“We commend South African authorities, in particular the ministry of Home Affairs and other security cluster ministries, for responding to the xenophobic attacks. We urge them, however, to urgently deploy more resources directed at protecting human life, regardless of nationality.”

The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition said it will continue to work with various stakeholders, including the South African government and civil society establishments in finding a lasting solution to threats of xenophobia.

Comments (47)

For Zimbabweans some of them should come back home chingangobvondoka tangosara bwende vchete muno muzim

chibaba - 16 April 2015

Zwelithini is a goat. He started all this, and I think he is now smiling and corpses of fellow Africans.

machakachaka - 16 April 2015

Zwelithini is a goat. He started all this, and I think he is now smiling over corpses of fellow Africans,

machakachaka - 16 April 2015

Zimbabweans, after watching with dismay, various videos coming from RSA, showing Zimbabweans being killed like snakes, I cried miserably. It is time we take revenge. Let us show foolish South African that we are not stupid. Let us bar all heavy trucks with RSA number from coming through beitbridge. To Zimbabweans in Durban, please acquire guns and fight back. The South Africans are cowards. They do not know how to fight. Their soldiers were slaughtered likes chickens last year, was it in Guinea. Their soldiers were killed by untrained street kids who turned into rebels. I think Botha was right to label them less than human beings. Even Zuma is supportive of the killings of foreigners. Last night he spoke but did not condemn Xenophobia. And I quote "these killings must now stop. We cannot continue killing", Zuma said. This means he is not against the killings that have happened. He just wants the killings to stop. This is a man we gave food, clothing and five star shelter during their struggle against boers. But those boers are now their best friends, and us their enemies. But that is not our problem. We have learnt that moyochena wakaipa (being a good Samaritan is not always wise). We should have let the whites kill these bastards. If I were Ayatollah, I would have issued a fatwa against the Zulu king, and Zuma's son (who was ironically born in Swaziland) for their foul mouths that instigated these xenophobic attackes. Their stinking mouth has caused death of innocent people, who wanted to work for a living, and not to steal like what the South Africans are used to. Zimbabweans, we cannot just watch these satanic evil South Africans savaging our people with impunity. Zuma and his police are in connivance. Please let us retaliate. Please, shall we wait for another death???

Danai Pazvagozha - 16 April 2015

Danai, you are very wrong to suggest that Zimbabwe should retaliate to what is being done to our nationals. It is now painful because it us who are being killed, did we feel pain when we were killing whites in our country during the land reform, what goes around comes around, god has not started avenging the deaths of whites during the land reform whose sin was their colour.

Don king - 16 April 2015

as zimbabweans we should not have to watch the situation continuing we should have to unite and retaliate against these cruel south africans so sa to assist our brothers and sisters who are facing this problem

maxwell mapurisa - 16 April 2015

We put it all in the hands of God

chimhamha chacho - 16 April 2015

Retaliating is no good. These people are possecced. These people are possecced by the spirit of Chaka; their ancestor who so enjoyed shading blood. The moment we retaliate we are putting every zimbo who is there at high risk. I urge every zimbo living ther to come back home. Isu tinorarama wani. Munhu shupika uripamba pako mhani. Zvirikutirwadza isu kuno kumusha tichikuonai muchiuraiwa. ini zvangu ndinokurudzirawo vana vedu vechikomana kuti variko musaroore ikoko, roorai kuno kumusha. Zvangangonetsa hazvo kana urimubutiro relove asi nekufamba kwenguva nyayacho yekuroora musutu ichaipira iwe. Munogona henyu kundisoropodza asi zvicherechedzei. Dzoka muzimbo nyangwe wakapfeka patapata ipapo pauri huya kumba. Ndirkurwadziwa chaizvo. MY THE SOULS OF THOSE WHO WERE KILLED REST IN ETERNAL PEACE

bln - 16 April 2015

as the chair of SADC and the AU, the president has to comment on these attacks of africans in south africa.

zambezi2limpopo - 16 April 2015

What is being done by South Africa is very Cruel, so as Zimbabweans I suggest we must Fight back or Should we wait for another death ?????

Lino Drew - 16 April 2015

Yes its painful and emotive but dont lose your marbles otherwise you are defeated already. If you cant fight your own represive government that has forced you to seek refuge in other people's lands what makes you think you can fight faceless vigilantes with no regard for human life, you think you can match their violence when you are timid a green bomber? What is being done there to african immigrants is deplorable however to suggest you can buy arms and fight is nonsensical fiction - the utterances of a fantasist. The Crisis in Zimbabwe Coalition seems to be the only one making the right kind of noise on "finding a lasting solution to threats of xenophobia," how effective their engagement is remains to be seen.

Lt General - 16 April 2015

Zimbabweans, lets go home and take the fight to Matibili. Its unfortunate South Africans do not view Whites as their concern in this issue. But for us Zimbabweans lest correct the issues home. When Matibili was butchering whites and Ndebeles earlier on, sounds like the same people who cheering him then are now able to define genocide ah ah ah,sizadubeka sonke Madoda.

George Bango - 16 April 2015

Two wrongs does not make a right .Lt , General and George Bango thumps up for your contribution .

SOBER SENSE - 16 April 2015

Mugabe will find it difficult to comment on these horrific xenophobia attacks lest he is forced to explain the Gukurahundi genocide, Murambtsvina, election violence, farm invasions that killed workers of Malawian and Mozambican origin, just to name a few, Its like asking Hitler to comment on Idi Amin's brutality.

connie - 16 April 2015

its so sad and disturbing that some of our fellow Africans behave like animals

slow poison - 16 April 2015

How is it that Zimbabwe's literacy rate is as high as their stupidity? Am really baffled? A PHD thesis research on this topic is really urgent. How can an educated person be stupid, even more stupid than a roving negro. So we should just watch whilst the morons of South Africa are killing our people? What will we get from watching? Are you witches who get delighted when our people are dying. People being killed in Durban are both Shonas and Ndebeles, and we need to unite and gun them ba back, like what the foreigners in Pretoria did. An eye for an eye. To those who suggest that God will intervene, may you please visit the nearest psychiatric hospital for treatment before you become dangerous to yourselves. Why has God not interfered so far? There is Ngomahuru in Masvingo, and Hlanyeni in Bulawayo. They offer free medication to people with madness problem. South Africans can be very animalistic if they are not tamed. If one fights back the South Africans quirkily run away. They do not know how to fight. They are just good in dancing, whistling and marrying, and do not care even if a woman has aids or not. Ask Zuma, and someone like that is elected a president. But what would we expect from a bunch of barbaric morons called South Africans. Their soldiers were killed like rats in Guinea last year after Zuma sent them to protect his diamond mines from school children rebels, some as young as 8 years old. We saw a truck full of corpse of RSA soldiers. Its well documented. Even during the war 1980s, they sought to assist ZIPRA forces in Wanke, and were all wiped out like Mopoani worms. And according to Rhodesian CIO Ken Flower's book "Umkonto weSizwe were simple to harvest as they were clueless to modern war fare, unlike ZIPRA and ZANLA". So how can we be killed by such moronic nitwits?

Danai Pazvagozha - 16 April 2015

To all you Zimbabweans in RSA, please get guns and kill them too. Guns are easy to get in Johannesburg and Pretoria. With just R100 you get a good revolver. But for this war carry R200 and you can get an automatic sub-machine gun, AK47. Yes, you get them from the South Africans, especially the rather better civilised Xhosas. (Xhosas also have problems with the ignorance of Zulus). The Xhosas can actually join you to kill Zulus in revenge. For you to know how primitive and animalistic the Zulus are, they still circumcise their boys with knives at home, without using anaesthetics. Their brains believe that a man must experience pain to be a man, Kkkkkkkk, such brains. We need to eliminate them from the earth if we can. The world will be a better place without them. I am really angry and ready to take on them on any platform.

Danai Pazvagozha - 16 April 2015

This is a litmus test for our current leadership . They are wining and dining dining with the devil SA not knowing kuti chichbvondoka muZim. Right now people have nowhere to go because our economy is dead for sure. Leaders are busy globe-trotting while the masses are suffering

godobori - 16 April 2015

Let's be prudent Zimbos. Our energies should not be wasted on attacking South Africans. They are defending their territory, their livelihoods, their future. I listened to the king's speech. It was full of facts. They don't want us in their country. We failed to take a cue from the earlier bouts of xenophobia. As usual, the Zimbabwean malaise got the better of us. Takambomirira kuti tione kuti zvinosvikepi. The political situation in our country has driven our children out into the vagaries of slaveryin They are now caught between the proverbial devil and the deep blue sea. If they come back kune another Gukurahundi iri kuuya manje manje iyi. If they stay there vanouraiwa nemadzviti. Vodii? We have no influence one the border. We have influence here. Here's where your anger must be vented. Here's where the xenophobia originated. Think about it objectively. We are angry because we are myopic. Dear brethren, are you so insulated by your comfort that you do not see the internal politicophobia that's building up in our land? It will be worse than in RSA. Most will run away to RSA and offer themselves as dignified slaves. If you hate xenophobia so much, stop it it right here, right now. The ball is in your court. It begins with you.

Shungu - 16 April 2015

I looked but I have yet to see where it was reported that during his recent state visit Mugabe raised or discussed this serious problem with Zuma. But then again, I wouldn't be surprised if it was never on on his agenda!

Ini Bate-Reke - 16 April 2015

Is it surprising, given black South Africans animosity to each other dating back from the time of Chaka and Mzilikazi, Soshangane and Zvangendaba? But one thing the rest of Africa should NEVER do is revenge. If we do, what DIFFERENCE will there be between them and us?

Authentic AfroZim - 16 April 2015

Mugabe insited this xenophobic attacks with his careless statement of saying 'WE APOLOGISE FOR OUR PEOPLE WHO CROSS YOUR BORDERS ILLEGALLY AND COME HERE TO DISTURB YOUR SOCIAL SYSTEMS'. What did he mean by that????

SHIBOBO - 16 April 2015

@ Shibodo. He meant stop killing my people stupid!

Arrow of peace - 17 April 2015

The problem is not South Africa.ZANU pf government is the problem.They destroyed the Zim economy and left every Zimbabwean destitute,that is why Zimbabweans migrate to SA daily legally and illegally.Every Zimbabwean should direct their anger at Bob and his corrupt and incompetent government, not at South Africans. Shame on you Prof Jona Moyo and Kasukuwere for suggesting that Xenophobia is worse than apartheid. It's actual ZANU pf rule that is worse that apartheid and xenophobia combined!!Work up Zimbos and vote out Bob and his greedy comrades

Craig - 17 April 2015

From what i gather from all other newspapers and websites of credibility, only one zimbo died as a result of these barbaric attacks. But as you go though this sick daily lies, it wants to create an impression that its zimbabweans under siege. A sign of a sick paper controlled by idiotic forces.

reason - 17 April 2015

It is clear that @reason is not together upstairs. His comments are always off-topic, no matter the discussion.

Kt - 17 April 2015

Reason, do you mean one death of a Zimbabwean is acceptable. How many then shall we wait to see dying before we act. If it were only you who died, would that be fine

Danai Pazvagozha - 17 April 2015

Come back home zimbos. I onces owned you when the govenment of the RSA threatened to deport you after the expiry of your temporary aslum permits. Can`t you see that you are not wanted there. Fisrtly it was xenophobia then the RSA govenment and now its xenophobia again. I forsee a situation were this RSA government is going to chase back again in the near future. History is repeating it` self. Dzokai kumba. Maoneroo angu. Ini ndirikuno kuHarare. Ndineurombo nezvirikuitika nezvirikuita.

bln - 17 April 2015

I do not condone violence in any form but wait a minute. The South Africans are expressing the frustrations they are going through emanating from the so called political freedom without economic benefit. Yes they have self rule, they can vote freely without intimidation and even more so they have freedom of expression. They don't have jobs, they are poor and BEE is only benefitting the few ANC fat cats which is typical of African Liberation movements. They see a lot of foreigners living better than themselves in their country. They feel their government is not protecting them from the strain on the limited resources caused by an excessive influx of migrants who are eating what they presume is their share. Eventually they take things into their own hands flush out those that are eating our share. Black Zimbabweans violently chased out white Zimbabweans who had been occupying the best land in their country whilst they were crowded in poor land. The president is on record saying he would not send his police against his own people. Now you expect Zuma to shoot his own people to protect foreigners who rightfully should be living in their own countries of origin. Each african country with an unreasonable proportion of its populace living in South Africa should not make too much noise but rather soberly address the issues that have driven a huge portion of their populace away from home into South Africa. Rather than basking in the comfort of exporting their problems to Zuma, African leaders should fix their own countries, grow their economies, exercise good governace allow their people to express themselves at home, then people will stay at home!

shibhobo - 17 April 2015

This Afrophobia thing happening in South Africa with the blessings of one of their leaders the silly,arrogant zulu king,well i cant even read his name.President Zuma should act if he is not part of the whole evil act.One can argue that S.A during Apatheird era was organized as compared to this post-apatheird era.to add salt to an injury the very same people persecuted by the hare-brained zulus are the very same who sacrificed for their freedom like us Zimbabweans,Mozambicans,Zambians and Nigerians.The problem with zulus is they are naturally violent and resort to violent means to settle issues.Now looking at what is happening now other countries like Mozambique have started retaliating with Mozambicans in Gaza last week they killed 4 South Africans at a beach and 250 South Africans working at SASOL in Mozambique were sent packing by their Moz colleagues and in Maputo Mozambicans have vowed to retaliate whenever they see any South African coming in.Now where does that take us?obviously all those victimized are innocent souls who pay the price for the evil actions perpetrated by hordes of uneducated,uncouth zulu gangsters in South Africa including their mischievious nefarious king with Jacob zumas stupid son.But countrymen lets not retaliate because we are not brutal and that backward.we have always been a peaceful people and we only fight in war thats the reason why even our uniformed forces are rated on top.only cowards do that and they do not realize they are putting their country in danger as many industrialists would opt later relocating to other countries where there is skilled manpower and stable.

carson macate - 17 April 2015

South Africa is a rainbow nation stop xenophobia

chirisamhuru - 17 April 2015

A little bit of ice cream in the fridge at home and some toys to play with at home will reduce the chances of your kids being bashed next door by your neighbour's kids over the toys that the nextdoor father avails to his kids. Its not too hard just copy the nextdoor daddy. Get your kids some toys and stop shouting at the barley next door for not disciplining his kids. That might work!

shibhobo - 17 April 2015

@ Shungu...Zimbabwe needs a critical mass of those who think sober like you on this issue and then walk it. Yes Xenophobia must stop but then what? if you dont fix some of the instigating factors in their respective "homes" we will be having the same conversation & expressing cyber outrage in a few years or months even.

Galore 123 - 17 April 2015

SA Exports of goods and services to Zimbabwe are over $2 billion. Combine these with exports to Zambia, Malawi, Mozambique and Nigeria among other countries and you will realise we have every right to be in South Africa as Africa. We are following the jobs that have been created by our imports of South African goods produced goods under various trade Agreements. South Africa can not enjoy our markets and deny us the same privilege in their country

Zimboforlife - 17 April 2015

This is deeper than meets the eye. The S African government feels put under pressure by the Melema foolish policies. It has been made to look like it has failed to deliver on jobs for its youths. Recently the statue attacks where making them look like they have lost heritage vision. For them the xenophobia attacks provide a relief talking about we are in talks with ANCYL etc. These attacks are criminal which ever way any government would like to look at it. How can a government with all senses go into talks with criminals? Can you imagine trying this at home - unowurawa na bob (secure would not tolarate this rubbish - for that I give him props) before you can finish the word xenophobia.

Devil Vice - 17 April 2015

Zimboforlife why not export to them and create jobs at home and and let our people come back home. Remember we are 35 years old tomorrow So Far So Good and they are 20 years old. We are the bigger brother hey.

shibhobo - 17 April 2015

The Zulu king is stupid while the hell would a respected person like him encourage devilish acts?To president Zuma beware of calling a curse upon your country,as we will retaliate as soon as possible.If you take decades to act then war is inevitable

TM THE GREAT - 17 April 2015

I am one of the people who have been affected by this so called xenophobia. Of course what our South African brothers are doing to us is so bad but i fail to understand the soberness of those Zimbos who are saying that we should fight back. I watched with surprise one Nigerian on tv uttering the same sentiments. Are we in SA to colonise or we came to seek refuge? People have been killed in Zimbabwe in more brutal methods during elections, did anyone fight back? Bokoharam is slaughtering people in Nigeria who has fought back. Those who are drunk pliz drink more water and get sober. If you ever dare try fighting back you will be putting more lives in danger. Why dont we just pack our bags and go back home where its safe?

cde mabhunumuchamama - 17 April 2015

'Tit for tat" " An eye for an eye makes the world blind" Two wrongs cant produce right answer. Southern Africa has been the most peacful part of Africa for a long time. I think we as zimbabweans we must not move into "physical stage" type of approach torwards south africans and their interests in Zim. What the Mozambique people have done is bad. We can't afford to have a similar Israeli-Palestine stand off/conflict here in SADC region. Think of Alshaabab [somalia] and the Kenyaan situation which is getting out of control with no end in sight. That student president of ours must be called to order and withdraw his statement which incites violence. There are +3million Zims in SA more than the population of neighbouring botswana and how do you evacuate such large number on short notice if we make violence escalates. I always argue that we zims are level headed and peaceful lot and its time we show that. These are very tense, fragile and trying times. Lets exhaust all means available of exstinguishing this ticking time bomb peacefully.

X-MAN IV - 17 April 2015

"Heal the World and Make it a better place for you and for me and the entire Universe" The universe is a melting pot most people come from more than one background

- - 18 April 2015

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