Sunday, 19 April 2015

A young mother recounts xenophobic attack in Alex.

Thandekile Ngala, 21, managed to grab what she could, carry her 11-month old baby on her back and sought safety at Alexandra police station, north of Johannesburg as violence against foreign nationals broke out in the township.

Ngala, from Zimbabwe, is one of the displaced foreign nationals from Alexandra staying at a temporary shelter in Mayfair. A Mozambican national was stabbed to death in the township as xenophobic violence that erupted in
A young mother recounts xenophobic attack in Alex.
Durban, KwaZulu-Natal two weeks ago spread to the rest of the country.

Ngala said she was sitting in her rented shack at around 11am on Saturday when she received a call from a friend to leave and go to the police station ”before they find you there and kill you.”

”I took my baby and grabbed a bag to put in few of his clothes…as you know Alexandra is a very busy place, people were moving up and down the street, but I could feel the tension in the air. I just went straight to the police station with my baby,” she said as she folded a blanket in the tent allocated to her and another group of women.

She said the violence in the township started on Friday. People started breaking into and foreign owned shops on the day.

”They then said they would come for foreigners. Groups of people started going door to door on Friday night, asking people which country they came from and demanding to see identity document,” she said.

”I don’t know what happened to those the groups came across.”

Ngala said she would not go back to Zimbabwe as jobs are scares there.

”Going back there would not help me. I am able to support myself and my child by working as a domestic worker. I wont’ find a job Bulawayo,” she said.

Home Affairs Minister Malusi Gigaba on Sunday told reporters in Pretoria that more than 300 people have been arrested in relation to widespread attacks on foreign nationals and looting.

President Jacob Zuma cancelled an official trip to Indonesia on Saturday to deal with matters at home. Gauteng premiere David Makhura arrived at the shelter and is expected to speak to foreign nationals later today.
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