Xenophobia: Zimbabweans ask for ANC intervention

Cyril Ramaphosa

Cyril Ramaphosa

Mashudu Netsianda, Senior Reporter
ZIMBABWEANS living South Africa have engaged the ruling African National Congress (ANC) and its political allies to intervene in fresh xenophobic violence in Pretoria and Johannesburg.

The chairman of the Zimbabwean Community in South Africa, Mr Ngqabutho Mabhena, said there was a third force behind the attacks and accused some opposition parties of trying to destabilise the neighbouring country under the ANC-led government.

“In our view, the xenophobic attacks are well co-ordinated and political. Opposition parties which are fighting the ANC government want to make South Africa ungovernable and they are mobilising communities to attack foreigners. We have engaged ANC, Cosatu and the South African National Civic Organisation to help address the problems since they have branches in those communities,” he said.

Mr Mabhena, whose organisation represents 500 000 Zimbabweans — a majority of whom are not documented — said although in the past three days they did not witness incidences of violence, the situation remained volatile.

He said it was not fair for South Africans to accuse worshippers from Zimbabwean apostolic churches of destroying public recreational parks by defaecating, urinating and burning trees.

Mr Mabhena said worshippers from the Nazareth Baptist Church‚ popularly known as the Shembe Church, one of South Africa’s biggest churches in terms of following, also used open spaces to conduct services.

On Friday, the “Mamelodi Concerned Residents” delivered a petition to the Home Affairs Department alleging that worshippers from Zimbabwean apostolic churches were “destroying our public parks” and accused them of defaecating, urinating and burning trees.

Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to South Africa Mr Isaac Moyo said no Zimbabwean was killed or injured in xenophobic skirmishes that occurred in Pretoria and parts of Johannesburg over the last two weeks.

Violence broke out during last Friday’s anti-immigrant march in Pretoria and parts of Johannesburg. Police had to use stun grenades, water cannons and rubber bullets to disperse the protestors going by the name “Mamelodi Concerned Residents” who accused immigrants of “taking our jobs, fuelling crime and prostitution.”

Ambassador Moyo said the South Africa Government had assured African diplomats that foreigners in the neighbouring country would be protected.

The newly formed Coalition of Civics against Xenophobia, the African Diaspora Forum (ADF) and the United Front (UF) blamed recent violence against foreigners on Johannesburg mayor Mr Herman Mashaba.

The coalition is made up of South Africans and representatives of foreign communities under the auspices of the Lawyers for Human Rights.

Mr Mashaba came under fire for referring to foreigners as criminals and inciting violence.

In December last year, Mr Mashaba told journalists that illegal immigrants got to South Africa criminally and “should be treated as such.”

Last week, foreign-owned shops were looted in Atteridgeville in Pretoria while homes of suspected drug dealers and brothels‚ said to be owned by foreigners‚ were torched in Pretoria West.

After the weekend attacks‚ the Nigerian government urged the African Union to step in to stop further attacks on Nigerians in South Africa.

President Jacob Zuma on Friday condemned the violence and encouraged peaceful co-existence.

The latest attacks evoked ugly memories of the deadly xenophobic attacks of 2015 which displaced hundreds of thousands of Zimbabweans and other African immigrants living in South Africa, following inflammatory remarks by Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini who had called for the expulsion of foreigners.


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  • Mugavimbi_Naledi

    Ngqabutho wethu … akuyekele ukuphapha njengeShona uyisethekeli egumeni labanye … esinganxuswanga futhi!
    What are you looking for in SA then … you abandon oppression and repression from a murderous DICTATORSHIP at home to go and fight AGAINST the freedom, decency and common sense of a DEMOCRACY in SA!
    Akuyekele ukuyangisa uMthwakazi wena. If you are that, then come back ‘home’ and fight this dictatorship that in 2017 still dances on the graves of Mthwakazians it killed.
    Nga ukhuluma ngoMthwakazi nga siyakuzwa. Umsindo wakho lo….!!!

    • vusumuzi

      Evele egunyazwe ngubani lapha ukthi abe ngusomlomo wethu?? Ungaziphathisi okumuntu ongelamthetho Mbuduma . Baqinisile ukuthi amaPostoli aweZimbabwe like they do here, go about defacating all over. You see the problem ngabantu abanyama is that they all leave their Oppressive regimes , then demand rights ekudingisweni . Those RSA people want to sort out their Society especially the Inequality, and they will never solve it as long Foreign blacks undermine their efforts by taking over Small Businesses, Vending , Work with lower than market/COSATU levels , umzabalazo wabo awuphelanga and foreign blacks are going there to ffer themselves cheaply. Ba right abantu beRSA . From the 1960s to date, the african countries are still BUNDU, nangu lowethu lapha is turning this high class into the same BUNDU

      • George Bango

        So to South Africans only Blacks are immigrants beside hoards of whites, Asians Chinese?

        • vusumuzi

          If the Chinese are there, so uthi wena so should Blacks??? You avoids the main thing about Oppression of black by black, and that RSA hasn’t finished its Liberation Struggle yet, so any foreigner who meddles uninvited (illegal Immigrants ) is derailing that process, libe libahleka lithi ngamavilandini , abafundanga. You try to balance an unbalancable equation lapha. dO YOU AGREE THEIR STRUGGLE IS FAR FROM OVER AND THAT THEY DESERVE TO SORT OUT WITHOUT ILLEGALS GETTING IN THE WAY AS THEY ARE DOING, WHEREVER THEY COME FROM ???Mtshele uMgabe ukuthi uthwele kanzima lawe, including abantwana bethu abasemzansi, mtshele, dont rush to rubbish factual presentation litshiya abacindezeli

  • Mbilazibomvu

    Amashona shame on you, you are illegal imigrants and selithethe intaba zonke eziseduze selitshona lichelana lincolisa iganga. Liyayangisa, at least try to follow the by-laws also bear in mind that liyizethekeli. Osokusele yikuthi sizwe selilwela ukuthi akufundiswe isishona ezikolo zeMzansi

  • Accumulator

    Hashiii it’s counter attack after counter attack hey then attack attack attack, the result goal bhora

  • ???

    Bascially if people are destroying Public parks they should be told not to do so why attack looks there is a lack of communicating with others in some issues raised in the article . Surely these apostolic churches need to ask for p ermission before carrying on their business

  • sibangilizwe

    Yes there is a third force and the most likely one is ZANU-PF which is led by the North-Korean ideology: ” Kill and instill FEAR”. That is ZANU as it was set in 1963 to create suffering by tribal divide so that Africa remains a natural resources source.