ZIMBABWEAN Ambassador to South Africa, David Hamadziripi has called on Zimbabweans living in the neighbouring country to desist from criminal activities as this tarnishes the good image of fellow hard-working and honest immigrants and the country at large.
This comes after reports of a botched cash-in-transit robbery where 25 would-be robbers attacked police leading to a deadly shootout.
South Africa media reports confirmed that eight of the robbers were shot dead, eight were arrested, while nine fled from the crime scene.
South African police minister Bheki Cele told SABC News that four police officers were wounded during the shoot-out with a gang of cash-in-transit robbers in Rosettenville, south of Johannesburg.
Unconfirmed reports also claim that a majority of the robbers were Zimbabweans and one is from Botswana.
Reacting to the incident in an interview yesterday, Ambassador Hamadziripi said his office was still awaiting an official and authentic report on the nationality of the would-be robbers.
“What we have heard is a lot of conflicting stories, some are incomplete and we have since requested to get formal official authentic information on the alleged nationality of the people involved and killed during this offence,” he told Chronicle.
“As an Embassy, we have consistently encouraged our nationals to observe the laws of this country just as we observe ours when we are home. We ask them to respect the laws of this country.”
Ambassador Hamadziripi said he was happy because a majority of Zimbabweans in South Africa were law abiding and hard working.
“It’s sad that we have a few bad apples that are spoiling the good name of Zimbabweans. We continue to urge them to be at their best behaviour and be law abiding citizens even in South Africa.”
The Zimbabwe Community in South Africa chairperson, Mr Ngqabutho Mabhena, said it was time Zimbabweans united against crime in the neighbouring country.
“These incidents fuel hate speech and are the reason why we have Operation Dudula targeted at foreigners, especially Zimbabweans. All of us should unite against crime,” he pleaded.
“We are in the middle of a difficult time and we cannot afford to be engaged in any acts of lawlessness. We must stand against crime and desist from any behaviour likely to fuel attacks on fellow countrymen.”