In the thick of continuing anti-immigrant (xenophobic) attacks in South Africa’s port city of Durban, The Nation has learnt that a Malawian is among the five people who have reportedly been brutally murdered.
While government was still tracing particulars of the deceased to confirm the news as we went to press, The Nation managed to establish that the Malawian was hacked then burnt to death on Tuesday morning in Durban.
The deceased, whose name has been concealed, came from Mangochi and was a resident of Durban, according to a source in South Africa.
He was reportedly grabbed by a mob of youths as he attempted to flee his place.
Speaking in an interview from Johannesburg, South Africa yesterday, the deceased’s friend, Samuel Idrissa, said he saw his friend brutally murdered.
Explained Idrissa: “I saw him being butchered before they burnt him to death. He was my best friend and we both come from Mangochi. I was with my boss when everything was taking place. It was terrible; his body was taken away by police.”
Minister of Information, Tourism and Culture Kondwani Nankhumwa, who is the official government spokesperson, yesterday said he had heard about the claims of death of a Malawian, but was yet to confirm with the Malawi High Commission in South Africa.
In a related development, Nankhumwa said the 420 Malawians trapped in South Africa will start arriving in the country this Sunday.
He said government has hired six buses, each with a capacity of 70 passengers, which are expected to leave South Africa today for Malawi.
Addressing the media in Blantyre, Nankhumwa said the Office of the President and Cabinet (OPC) has directed the Department of Disaster and Management Affairs (Dodma) to coordinate the repatriation process.
“Two centres have been identified at Kwacha Social Welfare near Njamba in Blantyre and Social Welfare at Malangalanga in Lilongwe. When the returnees arrive at these centres, they will be screened by police, Immigration Department and Social Welfare officials before being released to their respective homes,” said Nankhumwa.
Currently, the affected Malawians are seeking refuge at three camps set up by the South African Government in that country’s Indian Ocean coast city of Durban.