By Mary Taruvinga
ZIMBABWEANS in South Africa have pleaded passionately with the neighbouring country’s nationals to be merciful towards them amid the ongoing anti-immigrant violence.
This follows the brutal murder of a Zimbabwean man, Elvis Nyathi, who was stoned and burnt to death during the ongoing crisis.
South Africans in Diepsloot, a suburb North West of Johannesburg accuse foreigners of rampant crime and feel Zimbabweans are reluctant to fix their country.
In a statement, Zimbabwe Community in South Africa spokesperson, Bongani Mazwi Mkwananzi, said it is disingenuous to claim all undocumented migrants are criminals.
He said the attack on Zimbabweans is unwarranted.
“We also call upon the South African community to have compassion and understanding that it’s not very easy to fix our country, as some claim. It is not out of lack of trying. The inhuman treatment is very painful to us,” he said.
Nyathi was attacked after he tried to run away from the mob that went door to door demanding documentation Wednesday night.
It is said the mob then chased after him and brutally beat him up and demanded R300 from his wife, whom they also beat up.
“On failing to produce this R300 and only managing to give them R50, she was told they would take him away and see what do with him, of which they callously murdered him by pouring petrol on him and burning him alive until his demise,” said Mkwananzi.
He said such barbaric acts should be stopped forthwith.
“Such attacks on our people are evil and unwarranted,” he said.
Most worrying, according to Mkwananzi, is the fact that insensitive statements that Zimbabweans deliberately do not want to be documented continue to circulate.
“…the extension of the ZEP documentation regime has been revoked and thousands of our people, who have been forced by both economic and political circumstances which they hardly have control over, suddenly face uncertainty about their futures.”
He said all Zimbabweans living in South Africa want to be documented.
Mkwananzi also called on all Zimbabweans living in South Africa to stop criminal activities.
Meanwhile, the Economic Freedom Fighters (EFF) has condemned the brutal attack saying the vigilante groups in South Africa must not blame foreigners for criminal activities without proof.