Xenophobic Attack Survivors Return Home

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By Desie Heita

Windhoek

Eleven Namibian survivors of the vicious xenophobic attacks in South Africa are on their way home, having chosen voluntary repatriation for fear of worse attacks.

The group left Cape Town yesterday morning, with the assistance of the Namibian High Commission in South Africa. The victims, all men, left their wives and children in South Africa for home sweet home. Their properties in South Africa have been vandalised.

The bus carrying the group is due to arrive in Windhoek early this morning.
Namibian High Commissioner to South Africa, Phillemon Kambala, said some of the victims have children as old as five and seven years.

“The ages of the children give a clear picture that they have been here for some time,” said Kambala.

Kambala said during his visit to one settlement, Silwerstroom Strand in Cape Town, he witnessed how the victims’ families have been thrown apart, with mothers bringing children to visit their fathers in the shelters.

Some of the victims were lucky to have relatives in suburbs where they are now residing instead of staying in the temporary shelters.

The High Commission has no records of how many Namibians are in South Africa.

“People came here in different times, and feel uncomfortable to discuss such things with us,” he said.

Some of those interviewed by the High Commissioner said they opted to live in South Africa because of better job opportunities, compared to Namibia.

They work mainly in the construction industry and in the fishing sector.

The Namibian nationals left behind, especially those in the suburbs, have pledged to keep an eye on their fellow Namibians’ families and what is left of their properties.

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