By Nkosana Dlamini
Prominent South African politician and former opposition Democratic Alliance leader Mmusi Maimane has blamed Wednesday’s mob attack and killing of Elvis Nyathi – a Zimbabwean migrant – on the ANC government’s continued support on Zimbabwe’s ‘dictator’.
Nyathi, the 43-year-old father of four who are all in Zimbabwe, was killed in a mob attack in Diepsloot – north of Johannesburg – on Wednesday night after a day of protest against crime and poor policing of immigration laws.
According to neighbour and childhood friend, Prince Mkhwebo, a small but angry group came knocking at the gate – demanding to see the identity documents of the residents.
Nyathi, knowing well he had no papers, hid in the vicinity until the mob found him.
Soon his body lay beaten, stoned and set ablaze a mere 20m from his home.
Nyathi’s barbaric lynching has received wide condemnation in both South Africa and Zimbabwe while spotlighting on the ANC government’s failure to address causes of xenophobia in the rich country.
Addressing the incident Thursday, President Cyril Ramaphosa said, “Any form of criminality that results in the death of anyone is not acceptable and we will take action to deal with it.”
Also commenting on the incident and the unrest in South Africa, Maimane said to deal with the problem, the ANC administration should “address the root causes, oppressive regimes in Zimbabwe and eSwatini. We should not support dictators.”
He was speaking in apparent reference to Zimbabwean President Emmerson Mnangagwa and eSwatini’s King Mswati III.
Maimane added, “Increase capacity of the refugee reception office and process all applications…improve border security.”
South Africa is home to what is believed to be over a million Zimbabwean migrants who continue to cross into their rich neighbour through both legal and illegal crossing points to escape endless economic hardships in their motherland.
A lot of them have been victims of ordinary crime and xenophobic attacks by militant South Africans.
The Zanu PF government has been blamed for poor management of the economy, a situation that has hounded millions out of the country in search of greener pastures.