Malawi returnees tell of being ‘hunted like dogs’ in South Africa

Malawians fleeing xenophobic violence in South Africa told Tuesday of how they escaped marauding death mobs and vowed never to return to the country where they had sought a new life.

Malawians protest in Lilongwe against xenophobia in South Africa

Malawians protest in Lilongwe against xenophobia in South Africa

Malawians fleeing xenophobic violence in South Africa disembark a bus in Blantyre on April 20, 2015 after being repatriated (AFP Photo/Bonex Julius)

Malawians fleeing xenophobic violence in South Africa disembark a bus in Blantyre on April 20, 2015 after being repatriated (AFP Photo/Bonex Julius)

A group of 390 Malawians fleeing xenophobic violence in South Africa wait at Kamudzu stadium on April 20, 2015 in Blantyre, after being repatriated (AFP Photo/Bonex Julius)

A group of 390 Malawians fleeing xenophobic violence in South Africa wait at Kamudzu stadium on April 20, 2015 in Blantyre, after being repatriated (AFP Photo/Bonex Julius)

Holding her one-year-old daughter in her arms, Malawian Agnes Salanje said she “faced death” during the wave of anti-immigrant violence that has claimed at least seven lives.

“We could have been killed as these South Africans hunted for foreigners, going from door to door,” Salanje, who was a domestic worker in the Indian Ocean port city of Durban, told AFP.

Nearly 400 Malawian refugees arrived overnight in the city of Blantyre in the south of the country, where they were met by government ministers and officials.

The attacks on foreigners have sparked a wave of anger and protests against South Africa across the rest of the continent.

Salanje, who was paid $200 a month, said she escaped the attackers after being “tipped off by a good neighbour and we ran to a mosque to seek shelter.”

“I will not go back. It is better to be poor than be hunted like dogs because you are a foreigner,” she said.

“I lost everything. I only managed to grab a few clothes for myself and my baby Linda.”

South African authorities have struggled to contain mobs in the economic capital Johannesburg and Durban who have been attacking foreigners from Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique and other African countries.

Foreigners are often the focus of resentment among poor South Africans who face a chronic jobs shortage.

Chisomo Makiyi, 23, who worked at a clothes manufacturing factory in Durban, is still puzzled why they were attacked.

“Had I not run away to safety, I would not be here,” she said.

“I just don’t know why all of a sudden they start hating foreigners and giving them two choices — be killed or go home.”

Makiyi pledged to never return to South Africa despite “the good pay of $280 (a month) which back home would be a dream.”

On average, civil servants in Malawi get $100 per month while labourers receive only $50.

“My life is more important than a good salary,” she said. “I am better off being poor and without a good job than be killed in a foreign land.”

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Kenneth leonnard
Guest

Thanks to my country adiministration for its quick responds to repatriate its citisen in that ambiciase nation. Im strongly believe that if our country adiministration would do this all the time they hear its people crying malawi could be one of the reachest nation in africa. Im say this becouse i have been there in south africa. I know how ambiciase those people are. What this administration did each and every malawian is very proud.

James
Guest

This is really barbaric and uncalled for. There so many other South Africans living in other countries. Crime is not peculiar to a particular group of people. While it is true that some commits crime, it shouldn’t be an excuse to start killing any one that is not from same country as you. This readily shows the lack of order and law that is prevalent in SA

Rev. A.W.R.Ngulube
Guest

We can to China for busness, and more over we import about 50% of various goods from South Africa, we need grow all of us, growth take pains.

Rev.A.W.R.Ngulube
Guest
I have been in south Africa from 1999 to 2005, It’s very unfortunate for our brothers and Sisters down SA to behave like that; becoz no Country can depend on its own as said by many people. Let me remaind the South African that when Dr. Hasting Kamuzu Band had died, President Mandela had said, Dr. H.K. Band had posted three times money, cars for ANC to Nelson Mandela, then soon after the release from Robing Islands, this was was a confession made by Nelson Mandela, express gratitude and condolences to Malawian over the death of our President of Malawi.… Read more »
Woooo
Guest

Welcome everybody at home mwadzunzika mmwamva! Mwatipeza kwathuu tisaukire linodzi

J.J.J.Sonke
Guest

Our trade imbalance with South Africa is 1 in 6. We import roughly for 436 million dollar from South Africa, and they buy for about USD 70 million from us. I calculated that the difference assures South Africans of at least 100,000 jobs ! South Africa is relatively rich because all poor neighboring SADC countries spend their development aid money there.
They would be in real trouble if that would stop. Shame on them. The “engine of growth” for Africa. My foot.

mphatso
Guest

Mfumu yosadziwa kulankhula ngati iyi sindinayionepo.
1 he says people misquoted him.does it mean his own people are foolish they dont understand their own king when he talks?
2.he blames the media for his foul tongue forgetting these days everything is recorded.he is the one who talks without thinking he cant understand himself and you call him Good will pardon me …..illwill or badwill

daudi mj
Guest
If u look at this issue of xenophobic attacks, the only negative area z the kiiling only. If u analyse well, u wil c that 98% of passport applicants head to RSA. In addition to that there r also other nationals from Nigeria, Zimbabwe,Mozambiquans n others. Anthu anyanya kuchulukanako, mukalephera sukulu ur destination z RSA basi. Poor timing. Wat they could do was/z to source capital in RSA osati kukhazikika ngati ndi kumudzi. Unemployment z everywhere, so wy foreigners taking bread meant for the citizens? Take positives in this text not negatives, u wil learn something out of this text
Malawi Wake Up
Guest

Don’t worry,we have a billionaire here , he will sort all off you out.

Finley Njawala
Guest

East or west home is best

wpDiscuz

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