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Some Xenophobia Victims in South Africa Abandon Local Shelters

FILE: Zimbabweans rally against recent anti-immigrant violence in South Africa, outside the South African embassy in Harare, April 17, 2015.

Zimbabweans and other foreigners in South Africa, who sought refuge in shelters from xenophobic attacks, have started going back to their homes.

This follows a lull in the wave of attacks targetting foreigners that officials say left seven people dead. Unofficial sources say the figure could be much higher.

Zimbabwe’s Ambassador to South Africa, Isaac Moyo, told Studio 7 he witnessed two camps in one of the hardest hit suburbs of Alexandra near Johannesburg being dismantled.

However, some of those returning to their homes said there is still tension despite an assuring presence of police and the army patrolling the streets.

More than 800 Zimbabweans have left South Africa in buses that were provided by the government and well-wishers. On arriving at the border, the returnees are counselled before being taken to their destinations.

Dozens more zimabweans are reported to have fled without any state assistance.

Studio 7 spoke to ambassador Moyo on the xenophic attacks.

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Meanwhile, Studio 7 reached independent political commentator, Walter Mbongolwane, who says as long as the fundamental causes of the xenophobia are not addressed the violence may erupt again any time.

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African Union Commission chair, Nkosazana Zuma Dlamini, said Thursday she is gravely concerned about the tragedy unfolding in South Africa, which has over the years been developed by local people and foreigners.

At the same time, some rights activists and human rights organisations will meet in Harare on Friday to review the progress made so far after the activists engaged the South African embassy in Harare last week to voice their concern against the xenophobic attacks on Zimbabweans.

One of the activists, Maureen Kademaunga, said although women returnees will find peace in Zimbabwe they will face economic challenges as there are currently no jobs for those already in the country like herself.