Some Zimbabwean nationals living in South Africa’s Limpopo province have returned home after xenophobic attacks flared up there last month.
Zimbabweans who have been living and working in Tshino village, Thohoyandou, Vuwani were affected.
On the night of March 17, local residents torched about 8 houses belonging to foreign nationals, according to Spokesperson for the South African Police Service (SAPS) in Limpopo Colonel Moatshe Ngoepe.
Some Zimbaweans were sheltered by their employers on farms in Levubu several kilometres away.
A Zimbabwean national caught up in the attacks had to relocate 20km from the place he had been staying for the past 10 years. Tevera Mucheki had this to say:
I miss my fellow Zimbabweans. We used to stay as a family but we are now scattered in Limpopo. I lost my Zimbabwean passport, driver’s licence and customers who usually brought cars for repairs.
I have to start all over again … My previous employers donated clothes and food.
… Since 2008, foreigners have been subjected to such attacks and we do not notice any meaningful intervention from the government.
The spokesperson fro the Limpopo Premier, Kenny Mathivha downplayed the xenophobic attacks. He said:
Compared to other provinces, Limpopo has had less such attacks because of its integrated communities.
For example, you can’t have such in Musina because South African citizens in Musina have relatives in Zimbabwe and speak the same languages.
In Giyani and Phalaborwa, it’s difficult to distinguish a Tsonga-speaking person from a South African or Mozambican; same with Lephalale – the Limpopo people in that area speak Setswana.
Below is Tevera Mucheka who lost his bakkie and the house he has rented for over ten years in a xenophobic attack.