FIREBRAND South African opposition Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) leader Julius Malema has pleaded with Zimbabweans to forgive his nation over the callous murder Elvis Nyathi.
Nyathi, who worked as a gardener, was stoned and torched to his death by infamous Operation Dudula vigilantes who went on an overnight hunt for Zimbabwean nationals in the slum Diepsloot settlement north of Johannesburg about two weeks ago.
His body was buried in Bulawayo last week.
Malema, whose party is now the third largest party in South Africa, said in his solidarity message to mark Zimbabwe’s 42nd independence his party was highly apologetic of the murder.
“The independence anniversary comes at a time of heightened Afrophobia that resulted on the violent and merciless killing of a gardener Elvis Nyathi, who was accused of stealing jobs, gardening deemed a stolen job,” Malema said in a statement.
“On this day we call upon the people of our sister country Zimbabwe and the rest of Africa to forgive South Africa and its people for the misdemeanors and criminality of a few, misled by the lack of uBuntu, to hate Africans in Africa,” Malema said.
He also condemned all acts of xenophobia targeted at Africans by South Africans.
“Criminality knows no nationality. In fact, the real criminality is at the doorsteps of white settlers who invaded and grabbed land and mineral resources for themselves at the exclusion of Africans. The level of self-hate and inhumanity of senseless killing of Africans by Africans must be condemned in its entirety and unequivocally, with the contempt it deserves.”