Blantyre – Malawi’s President Peter Mutharika has urged Zimbabwean President Robert Mugabe, in his capacity as chairman of the regional grouping, the Southern African Development Community (SADC), to ensure that xenophobic attacks in South Africa are addressed.
“I will raise the issue with President Mugabe, as chairman of SADC, especially to ensure that this matter is discussed at the impending SADC extraordinary summit scheduled to be held soon in Harare,” he said in a statement released by State House in the capital, Lilongwe, on Monday.
The xenophobia attacks have targeted Africans from the region, especially Malawians, Zimbabweans, Mozambicans, Somalis, Congolese and Ethiopians. At least seven people have been confirmed dead, two of them Malawians, according to Information Minister Kondwani Nankhumwa.
“One of them has already been buried in South Africa, another is still in the mortuary,” Nankhumwa said.
Mutharika also urged the South African government to stop the violence.
“I am pursuing this matter with President Jacob Zuma to do all within his power to end this painful ordeal for Malawians in South Africa whose only crime is to go and work in South Africa to earn a living,” he said.
Nankhumwa said six buses carrying 390 Malawians from Durban were expected in Malawi on Monday.
He added that the number of Malawians seeking safety in temporary refugee camps had swollen to 3 200.
“Malawi will repatriate all Malawians willing to leave South Africa,” he said, adding that five more buses carrying Malawians were expected to leave Durban on Tuesday.
Civil rights groups were due to protest in Lilongwe today. – IOL