Namibians Caught in SA Xenophobia Attacks

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By Kuvee Kangueehi

Windhoek

The wave of xenophobia that has hit South Africa over the last two weeks, has driven over 30 Namibians living in Cape Town from their dwellings following an attack by a mob on Thursday night.

The attack took place at a settlement called Du Noon, an informal township in Cape Town where over 30 Namibians stay.

One Namibian who survived the attack Andreas Pantaije, from the Omusati region, told New Era on Friday that mobs started attacking foreigners at the Milton Police Station.

A group of Namibians were tricked and ran into an ambush after being asked to attend a meeting at the police station in Milton only to find a group of men waiting for them.

The mob attacked them at the Milton Police Station while the police were trying frantically to stop the attack. The attack ended at around 20h00 when members of the army came in to help control the violence.

Pantaije has not been home since Thursday morning when he left for work.
They were informed that the meeting was meant to share information and enlighten all foreigners on the situation in and around the informal settlements around townships.

The terrified Pantaije said the mobs proceeded to the township where they looted and ransacked foreigners’ houses, ripping apart roofing sheets, breaking down doors and helping themselves to anything they could lay their hands on.

The mobs brandished weapons like machetes, knives, knobkerries, spears and iron clubs.

By Friday afternoon, Pantaije and other foreigners from Zimbabwe, Mozambique, Angola and Namibia had not returned to their homes since Thursday morning.

The 37-year-old said he has being living in SA since 1997 as a casual worker doing odd jobs. On the day of the attack, he fled to his employer’s house where he is a gardener.

Pantaije has been living with a Sotho woman with whom he has two children – a boy and girl.

He is aware of at least 40 Namibians who live around the informal township in Cape Town.

He said the police arrested at least 10 people.

The mobs are still roaming around the townships, chanting war cries and making statements like:

“Any foreigners, any filth just leave our country, you are taking our jobs and our women and today we will rid you all out of our country.”

Pantaije said this is painful. He would not want to return to Namibia because of his children but he has no choice but to come home for a short while and go back again.

“I will contemplate coming home, at least for now until all the dust has settled, but I cannot just leave all my stuff, my wife and my children are here. If I leave just like that, it means I have lost everything.”

Pantaije related that a friend of his by the name of Petrus indicated that he wants to come back home.

Namibia’s Deputy Ambassador to South Africa, Gerhard Kandanga, told New Era that the incident in Cape Town is the only one that they are aware of that involves Namibians.

Some Namibian students New Era spoke to say they have been warned not to move around the town and to be extra cautious.

At least 50 foreigners have been killed and some 15??????’??

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