Three Zimbabweans burnt to ashes in South Africa

ASHY REMAINS: These are the remains of three Zimbabweans who were burnt in South Africa recently


Staff Reporter

Three Zimbabwean nationals were set alight and reduced to ashes in South Africa as xenophobic attacks continue to wreak havoc in Mzansi.

The trio were accused by the locals of stealing cables and solar panels in Chavani Village outside Elim in Limpopo before being kidnapped, frog marched to a deserted place where they were miserably sjambokked and drenched in boiling water. They were then tied on highly flammable tyres, drenched in petrol before being set alight.

Makhado police spokesperson Sergeant Tshifhiwa Irene Radzilani said the three Zimbabweans “were burnt beyond recognition”.

According to an eyewitness, Thomas Shumba, two other victims managed to escape. Shumba was able to identify two Munago brothers Johan and Amon adding that they were still battling to get the identity of the third victim.

“They bought stolen solar panels which were found in their house. When I arrived at the scene of crime, I found only ashy remains of the deceased,” said Shumba in an audio which was availed to Zimbabwe Observer.

Following the attack, about 200 immigrants fled their homes into the bush as fuming members of the vigilante groups pursue them brandishing sjamboks, knob kerries and pangas.

Police have opened murder cases but no arrests have been made.

This is one of the unidentified victims in Elim

Malume Chinabwa, from the Kagisano programme, run by the Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) in Elim and Musina said:

“Since Saturday more than 200 foreigners – Zimbabweans, Mozambicans and Malawians – have been calling me for assistance.”

The fleeing foreigners are feared to have run out of food supplies and water. They were spotted at distant townships sneaking from the bushes by day to buy food before retreating back by night. One survivor, who has been staying in Elim for the past 10 years Francis Thiba shared a tale of horror and sorrow with Zimbabwe Observer about how a group of youths including females invaded their home and chased his wife and children into the bush. Thiba was captured but got rescued by the police as he was being led to a secluded place to slaughter him.

Thiba had already endured a heavy battering on his head and face by the time rescue arrived.

He has since reunited with his family at Waterval police station after being discharged from hospital where he emerged with stiches, plasters and bandages.

Thiba is prepared to relocate to Zimbabwe but has no money for transport.

Meanwhile, police have called on the community to desist from taking the law into their own hands.

Zimbabwe Exiles Forum (ZEF) is making frantic efforts to contact affected Zimbabweans and has urged police in Limpopo to do everything in their powers to stop further loses of lives.

“We are appealing for any form of assistance from well-wishers to help the affected foreigners and ZEF would like to appeal to police in Makhado to make sure that no more blood is shed in Elim. We expect the police to arrest the murder suspects and bring them before the courts for justice to prevail,” said ZEF in a statement released last night.

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