HomeLocal NewsNdebele chief challenges SA on Zim crisis

Ndebele chief challenges SA on Zim crisis

SILAS NKALA
United-Kingdom-based former Ntabazinduna Chief Nhlanhlayamangwe Ndiweni has challenged South Africa to intervene in the Zimbabwean political crisis as sporadic xenophobic attacks start simmering again, the Zimbabwe Independent can report.

The traditional leader argues that the unresolved political crisis in Zimbabwe has culminated in a massive influx of Zimbabweans into South Africa hence the continued xenophobic threats.

Ndiweni said the nature of xenophobic attacks in South Africa is of great concern because of its potential to destabilise the southern African region.

“It’s of  great concern because it destabilises the whole region and all of its member states because the populace of the region gravitate to South Africa. There is responsibility on the part of the government of South Africa to ensure the safety of all the citizens.

“The South African government needs to put more effort in resolving the Zimbabwean crisis. It is the Zimbabwean crisis that is giving impetus to Zimbabweans to go to SA in huge numbers,” Ndiweni said.”

He said Zimbabweans have for the past 41 years experienced lack of seriousness from the South African government where in some instances it has chosen to take sides when addressing Zimbabwean issues.

“The time has come for the SA government to listen to the people of Zimbabwe. They have the answer. The government of Zimbabwe has closed down the political space and political discourse is no longer possible,” Ndiweni said.

He added that xenophobic attacks are attached to the political discourse in Zimbabwe where the maximum instability created resulted in mass exodus of citizens.

Xenophobic attack concerns are stemming from videos being circulated on various social media platforms.  South Africans are seen harassing foreigners and evicting them from various buildings.

Migrant Workers Association –South Africa (MWA-SA) chairman Butholezwe Nyathi on Wednesday last week expressed worry over a seemingly xenophobic build up targeting migrants in South Africa.

This also followed the recent closure of the border by South African citizens trying to assist security agents in blocking Zimbabweans from entering South Africa.

“We have seen videos of civilians accompanied by the police to pick up people and close small businesses belonging to migrants. We hope innocent people will not end up suffering in the hands of people who claim to be rooting out illegal migrants because there is no clarity in verification of the authenticity of some of the documents,” Nyathi said.

“The whole thing is emotionally charged due to the socio-economic challenges facing South Africans. My advice is that we should organise ourselves and ensure that we are there for each other in times like this,” he added.

MWA-SA is setting up grassroots-based migrants desks where vulnerable people can approach and seek help.

Reports revealed that most Zimbabweans are living in fear of possible xenophobic attacks in South Africa following a wave of violent evictions targeting foreign nationals in that country.

Violence against foreigners has since been reported in Diepkloof, Rosebank and Turfontein.

Zimbabwean representative groups such as Zimbabwe Community in South Africa (ZCSA) have escalated calls for the South African government to intervene and protect foreigners from a potential explosive Dubula operation.

SA recently tightened screws on illegal migrants and conducted operations that seek to arrest and deport them.  Most South Africans have always maintained an angry attitude towards foreigners with claims that they are taking away their jobs.

In 2015, Zimbabwe had to repatriate thousands of its nationals in the aftermath of the xenophobic attacks. At least 62 people died in xenophobic attacks that rocked South Africa in 2008.

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