Tuesday, May 20, 2008

New unrest tagets Zimbabwean immigrants

from the scotsman:

....In a country with 40 per cent unemployment, ordinary black South Africans have accused the foreigners of stealing their jobs, houses and women. And they have been growing increasingly angry with their own head of state, President Thabo Mbeki, accusing him of being more concerned with appeasing Mr Mugabe than recognising the scale of the problem caused by the flood of Zimbabweans into South Africa.

Eight days ago, in Alexandra, a poor township in the shadow of Johannesburg's business district and the richest square mile of earth in Africa, Jacob Ntuli, 67, a community leader and former security guard, called a meeting of residents to discuss the rape of four women and a girl.

Somehow, what began as a discussion about crime ended in people seething with anger about foreigners. They decided it was time to act, and soon, with cries of "Let's go and kill foreigners", a mob armed with guns, steel bars and whips was descending on non-South African homes.

The first to die was Sipho Madondo, a 41-year-old South African who refused the mob's demand that he join the planned killing spree. He was shot dead in front of his wife, Pretty.

Soon afterwards the first Zimbabwean died. Lungile Mtweni, 31, had just arrived jobless from his own country and was due to begin work the next day as a gardener for a white South African in the hope of providing for his wife and two children. He had borrowed the equivalent of 65p from a neighbour so he could travel to his job and was walking home when he was overwhelmed by the mob. After hearing his accent, they beat and stoned him to death, before moving on to loot and burn the homes of other foreigners....

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