- Title: MALAWI: Malawians return home from South Africa with tales of violence
- Date: 25th May 2008
- Summary: NEWSPAPER HEADLINES READING "SOUTH AFRICAN VIOLENCE" AND "MALAWIAN KILLED"
- Embargoed: 9th June 2008 13:00
- Location: Malawi
- Country: Malawi
- Topics: International Relations
- Reuters ID: LVADLKQ9JW4899JARZJXMPW1SCJG
- Aspect Ratio:
- Story Text: Malawians working in South Africa are returning home in the wake of xenophobic attacks in South Africa.
Some of those arriving at the Mwanza border post between Mozambique and Malawi on Saturday (May 24) told stories of severe violence they had suffered at first hand.
In South Africa, at least 42 people have been killed and more than 25,000 driven from their homes in 12 days of attacks by mobs who have stabbed, clubbed and burnt migrants from other parts of Africa they accuse of taking jobs and fuelling crime.
South African authorities said a Malawian man was shot in Durban overnight and three other foreigners were stabbed in North West Province.
Malawi said it had begun evacuating more than 850 of its citizens from South Africa.
"The situation is too bad there. I am happy to be back safely. I just can't imagine how many people have been tortured and killed by now,"
one man returning home to Malawi said at the Mwanza border post.
George Tambani, a Malawi resident returning from South Africa, showed his head wound and told of his experiences in South Africa. "I rushed away and slept in a bush. But when I went back to report for duties, I met an angry mob that started beating me severely. But I managed to escape. Look, this is where they stabbed me with a knife but they failed to kill me. They hit me on the head with a club," he said.
Peter Filimoni, another Malawian crossing the border on Saturday, said he was surprised that South African police did not intervene to stop the violence he witnessed. He said: "The police are not doing enough. I thought they would at least shoot one of them in the leg so that others would refrain from attacking us. But they just looked at them. And there are some Malawians who have been there for many years and have their good houses to which they were running, but we saw that the attackers are also going there."
Malawian Ndaouna Chauluka said "If my country decides today to chase South Africans what's going to happen next? We are going to cause war.
We don't need that." "
"What is happening in South Africa so far is really inhuman," was Emmanuel Kaliyeka's comment.
An unidentified student said the violence had dashed hopes for a future in South Africa. "At first we used to have hope in South Africa.
We are having many relatives living in South Africa. Others are working there, others are helping in the development of South Africa. But it's now pity that people are being killed as of now as we are talking now there is riots going on, something pitiful," he said.
The South African government has been criticised for its slow reaction to the violence, which started in a Johannesburg township on May 11, and for not adequately addressing poverty widely blamed for the bloodshed.
Earlier this week South African President Thabo Mbeki authorised the army to help quell the violence.
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