A lot of foreigners, who migrated to south Africa for `greener pastures,` are living in fear following a wave of attacks that are targeting migrants in the Indian ocean coast city of Durban for the past two weeks.
Commenting on the possible solutions to the problem, law lecturer at Chancellor College, Sundizwayo Madise has suggested that Southern African Development Community (Sadc) and African Union leaders should push for an emergency meeting with South Africa President Jacob Zuma so that the attacks on foreigners can stop.
“If the South Africans don’t want other Africans in their country, let’s tear up the SADC Treaty for a start; and sanction their goods, services and businesses. Let us see if an implosion will not result as the fever catches the global market,” Madise said.
He said if the regional body would not be able to sort the problem then he doesn’t see any reason and importance for the body`s existence.
So far over 200 Malawians have been injured with almost 400 leaving in hiding a situation that has forced government to start repatriating some of them back home.
And commenting on the same, Public Affairs committee (PAC) spokesperson Father Peter Mlomole said it’s high time the African Union (AU) looks it the matter by disciplining the responsible country.
“It’s very bad to note that such things are happening under the watch of bodies like AU and SADC, let them help us because the situation is getting out of hand,” said Mlomole whose organization, PAC is an Umbrela body of many faith based organisations in the country.
And over the weekend Minister Information, who doubles as government spokesperson Kondwani Nankhumwa disclosed that said government is working on logistics on how the trapped Malawians can come back.
“Ministry of Foreign Affairs is working hand in hand with our embassy in south Africa so that some people who want to come should come back because we have others who have lost their travelling documents in the process,” disclosed Nankhumwa.
He said over K30 million is needed to repatriate almost 200 Malawians that have accepted to come back.
He adds ‘Government will also carry a civic education Malawians who are trekking to South Africa for economic migration to stop until the situation normalizes.`
The violence began following alleged remarks made by King Goodwill Zwelathini at the end of March that South Africa should deport all foreign nationals to give economic power and jobs to natives.
The remarks have led to three people being killed and over a thousand being housed in tents.
Meanwhile, some Malawians refuse to leave South Africa, as they would rather stay in hiding than face poverty and hunger in their own country.
The government of South Africa has condemned the attack and by yesterday evening it had arrested 17 people for being suspected to be muster minders of the attacks.
However Policy analyst Rafiq Hajat has said the attacks are bound to happen again as all the times natives in every country have a negative altitude over migrants who take on smaller jobs.
“They are bound to happen again due to the societal pressure that migrants put on an economy,” said Hajat.
These are second attacks to happen on migrants in the country in a space of 6 years.
In 2008 The Malawian Government repatriated over 1000 Malawians but most of them sneaked back to the country.