WINDHOEK – Although on-going attacks on foreign nationals in South Africa have not yet affected Namibians, close to 50 Namibians working in Cape Town as fisherman have been holed up in one shack, as a precautionary measure against South Africans attacking other Africans.
Speaking to New Era from Mandela Park, Cape Town yesterday, Sacky Kaiko – who has been living in that country for over a decade – said a group of Namibians has been squatting in one shack for fear of their lives.
“As we are speaking now, the situation has slightly improved but we are still scared of going out as we might not know what will happen to us,” he said.
Kaiko said there are over 200 Namibians working as fishermen and security guards mostly Oshiwambo-speaking.
“We cannot even go out to get airtime to notify our families,” said Kaiko, who spoke on behalf of the group.
According to him, many Namibians living in South Africa do not have legal papers to live in the country and this makes it difficult for many to seek help from the authorities.
“We are terrified, we have confined ourselves to this small space of a friend,” he added.
Kaiko said although he has been in that country for more than 10 years, he is considering returning to his country of birth. Anti-foreigner violence that erupted in the country’s eastern port city of Durban several weeks ago has so far left at least eight people dead, spreading to Johannesburg, displacing thousands and sparking alarm at the United Nations and in neighbouring countries.
International media reported that foreign-owned shops have been attacked and looted in some parts of Johannesburg. Contacted for comment yesterday, Namibia’s acting High Commissioner to South Africa, Nicklaas Kandji, said he was not aware of the situation in Cape Town but he will contact the Namibian Consulate in that town.
“I am not aware of the situation there but as the High Commission, we will do everything to help them,” said Kandjii.
He advises any Namibians trapped in any part of South Africa to contact the High Commission.