Malawis were among eight foreign nationals injured in the South African township of Doornkuil, Johannesburg in xenophobic attacks on Wednesday.
A report on the Citizen online said, five of them were critical according to Johannesburg emergency management services.
“They were sleeping when about five young guys carrying knobkerries and clubs came into their shack and attacked and robbed them. They were badly, badly beaten,” spokesman Robert Mulaudzi is quoted in the report.
The attack on the men from Malawi and Zimbabwe, happened around 2am. They were taken by ambulance to Chris Hani Baragwanath hospital.
It was suspected that the attack could have been xenophobia-related as the men were working for a construction company in the area, Mulaudzi said according to Citizen Online.
“We are not sure whether it is a xenophobic-related or a criminal activity. Police were notified and are investigating.”
In May 2008, 62 people were killed and around 150,000 displaced in an outbreak of xenophobic protests. The assailants were violently protesting against the presence of foreigners in South Africa, claiming they took away their jobs, among other things.
Hundreds of Malawians live in South Africa and many are trekking there after fleeing economic meltdown at home.