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Zimbabweans in Limpopo, South Africa, Said to Flee Xenophobic Tensions

  • Chris Gande

A report by the Pan-African Parliament Monitoring Project said Pretoria is in denial and not doing enough about xenophobia and attacks on foreigners

Thousands of Zimbabweans in Polokwane in the South African province of Limpopo are living in fear in the mountains after fleeing their homes following continued xenophobic attacks, sources familiar with the situation told VOA Studio 7.

The sources said attacks in recent weeks were led by a city councilor named Tebogo Mojapilo who was later arrested then released on bail of 600 rand a fortnight ago.

That was around the time a mob in Polokwane stoned Zimbabwean Godfrey Sibanda to death after he was accused of theft.

The Harare Herald newspaper reported that the Pretoria government has set up a task force including police, the Red Cross, and the United Nations Human Rights Commission to investigate and deal with such attacks against Zimbabweans.

But a report by the Pan-African Parliament Monitoring Project said Pretoria is in denial and not doing enough about xenophobia and attacks on foreigners.

“The evaluating group felt that the South African government is not doing enough to address the issue of xenophobia and pointed out that there is even an element of denialism on behalf of some officials,” the report concluded.

Director Joyce Dube of the Southern African Women's Institute for Migration Affairs said Somali immigrants have also been targeted by recent anti-foreigner violence.

Her group has organized a soccer match between Highlanders of Zimbabwe and South Africa’s Orlando Pirates this weekend in Johannesburg aiming to ease tensions.

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