WINDHOEK – The National Union of Namibia Workers (NUNW) has strongly condemned as barbaric the ongoing xenophobic attacks by South Africans in which at least five African migrants were killed.
“We are shocked and disgusted by the barbaric ongoing attacks on innocent foreign nationals in that country,” said the NUNW acting secretary general Job Muniaro yesterday.
Two weeks ago, South Africans began attacking and looting properties owned by fellow Africans, forcing their victims to flee.
The attacks came in the wake of comments made by Zulu King Goodwill Zwelithini that foreigners should “pack their bags and leave”.
Zwelithini is a highly influential traditional leader of South Africa’s largest ethnic group, the Zulu.
Muniaro called on Namibian workers, especially truck drivers and business people doing business in South Africa, to refrain from travelling to that country until the situation improves.
“We advise anyone planning to visit South Africa to refrain from such plans until the situation improves,” stated the NUNW leader .
Although no Namibians have been reported to have been caught in the crossfire, Muniaro said government should avail financial assistance to Namibians who wish to be repatriated from South Africa.
The unionist further called the African Union (AU) and Southern Africa Development Community (SADC) to take action against South Africa.
Muniaro also called on the international community to assist with the displaced African community in restive South Africa.
Tens of thousands of refugees from Zimbabwe, Somalia, Congo and many other African nations have settled in South Africa in search of greener pastures and are in essence economic refugees.
South Africa has suffered outbreaks of xenophobic violence in the past few years. In the worst spate of such attacks in 2008, about 60 foreigners died and authorities in that country have come under a barrage of criticism for indecisively dealing with the issue .