JOHANNESBURG, April 30 — Twenty-four buses carrying Malawian citizens left South Africa on Wednesday as part of a repatriation programme for those displaced by the recent xenophobic violence in this country.
The buses gathered at Randburg, north of Johannesburg, before departing for Malawi. The humanitarian relief organization, Gift of the Givers, is working with the South African and Malawi governments to ensure the safe return of these foreign nationals
“One thousand six hundred Malawians are returning to their country. This is because of the xenophobia and these people now have to go back to their countries as they fear for their lives in South Africa,” said a representative of the organization, Emily Thomas.
“Gift of the Givers is giving them each a food parcel to take home with them. But, apart from the sombre situation in which they are leaving I must say that as we are busy handing out these parcels it is quite a joyous atmosphere.”
Seven people including three South Africans were killed in the recent spate of xenophobic attacks which started in KwaZulu-Natal Province and spread to areas in Gauteng Province.
Meanwhile, a memorial service for murdered Mozambican national Emmanuel Sithole, who has since been identified as Manuel Jossias, was held at the East Bank community hall in Alexandra, north of Johannesburg on Wednesday.
Jossias was stabbed to death at the township two weeks ago. His body will be repatriated back to Mozambique on Thursday.
“The City of Johannesburg is a caring city. We visited the family and during our visit we discovered that the family has nothing, they did not even know how they are going to be dealing with the situation especially because Mr Sithole has to be buried at his home country,” said a Member of the Mayoral Committee in the City of Johannesburg, Nonceba Molwele.