Following threats of xenophobic attacks in South Africa, 200 foreigners are in hiding.
After three Zimbabweans were brutally murdered by locals in Chavani Village in Elim on Saturday, at least 200 foreign nationals have fled South Africa.
The three Zimbabweans who were murdered, according to accounts from GroundUp, had been charged with stealing wires and solar panels.
Approximately 200 immigrants left their houses after the attack and took refuge in nearby communities or other villages. Some people had to leave their homes because of vigilante organizations.
Makhado police spokesperson Sergeant Tshifhiwa Irene Radzilani said the three Zimbabweans “were burnt beyond recognition”.
Police have opened murder cases but no arrests have been made.
Malume Chinabwa, from the Kagisano (seTswana for living together harmoniously) programme, run by the Lawyers for Human Rights (LHR) in Elim and Musina said:
Since Saturday more than 200 foreigners – Zimbabweans, Mozambicans and Malawians – have been calling me for assistance
During the day, they try to visit townships where they are not known, in search of food but spend the night in bushes.
Elim resident Francis Thiba told GroundUp that at about 6 PM on Saturday a group of youths, including women, came to his residence.
He said his wife and three children were ordered to leave and they fled to the bush. Police later rescued them the same day.
Thiba was beaten on the head and in the face before he was rescued by Waterval police at about 7 PM who took him to Elim hospital.
He was discharged on Tuesday and joined his family at Waterval police station, where they had sheltered for three days.
Thiba, who has been living in Shirley village, Elim, for over ten years, has been in South Africa since 2000.
He said they are prepared to leave for Zimbabwe, but he has no money for transport