The Zimbabwean Embassy in South Africa has begun engaging authorities in Pretoria to immediately address the recent upsurge in xenophobic violence.
South African gangs have recently unleashed an orgy of violence targeting foreign nationals living mainly in poor neighbourhoods, who they blame for the prevalence of social ills within their communities.
A Zimbabwean man, Elvis Nyathi, was killed last week in Diepsloot, Johannesburg when a gang dragged him from his shack before beating him and setting him alight.
Zimbabwe’s Consul-General in South Africa Mrs Melody Chaurura told our Harare Bureau yesterday that they were engaging “the South African government at all levels” to deal with the issue.
“I was able to visit the family of Elvis Nyathi yesterday (Friday) to pass our condolences. We have been able to get free repatriation of the body from a Zimbabwe-owned funeral parlour here in South Africa.
“We are very much concerned with this issue and we are talking to the South African government at all levels to see how the issue can be dealt with.”
In a statement released on Friday, the Zimbabwean Embassy urged Zimbabweans living in areas affected by the violence to remain calm.
“The Embassy of the Republic of Zimbabwe in Pretoria and the Consulates in Johannesburg and Cape Town have learnt with utmost revulsion the wanton and callous killing of a Zimbabwean national in Diepsloot, Johannesburg.
The victim, positively identified as Elvis Nyathi, met his untimely death on the evening of April 6, 2022. Elvis was gruesomely murdered by yet to be identified assailants who unlawfully demanded cash and travel documents from him before murdering him in cold blood.”
The South African Government, reads the statement, has been engaged in order to find a solution to the resurgence of violence against foreigners.
“The Embassy and Consulates wish to urge all Zimbabwe nationals, particularly those in Diepsloot to remain calm in the face of adversity. The Embassy and the Consulates are working with the host Government authorities to get to the root of the problem.
We continue to pin our hopes on the ability of the host government’s justice delivery system to bring the perpetrators to book.
We reiterate our call to all our nationals to immediately establish contact with the Embassy and two Consulates in times of distress.”
The attack came in the midst of renewed xenophobic sentiment in South Africa, with Operation Dudula, an anti-immigrant group spearheaded by Nhlanhla “Lux” Dlamini, continuing its controversial campaign in that country.
Speaking to eNCA, Nyathi’s widow Nomsa Tshuma said that when they saw “many people” enter their yard, they tried to run away and hide. She also told Sabc News in an interview that “a group of people came and asked them to produce their documents and she did so and her husband failed to produce his and ran out of the house and the mob attacked him.”
— Sunday News