A Mozambican immigrant died and at least 18 other Mozambicans were displaced by xenophobic violence in Thokoza, east of Johannesburg, one of the victims told Lusa on Monday.
“There was a Mozambican man who was killed; they burned everything they had, they took everything. The Mozambicans were left with nothing,” Mozambican immigrant David Machava told Lusa.
“He died the day before yesterday [Saturday], when they came here, beating people in Phola Park in Thokoza,” he explained.
David Machava, who has lived in South Africa since 1987 and fathered a family of eight children, said that most Mozambican immigrants affected by the recent wave of xenophobic violence reside in Phola Park, an area in the township of Thokoza, next to Katlehong.
“There are many Mozambicans […] there can be 18 Mozambicans, because there are many living here in Phola Park,” Machava said.
“I am also looking for a place. […] They asked for documents, they hit me point-blank. Another Mozambican left his house because they told him they were going to kill him. I am also looking for another place,” he declared.
“They turned over my car , which was parked there,” he said.
For his part, José Sobrinho, 37, a native of Chokwé in Gaza, southern Mozambique, told Lusa yesterday that his television repair business was destroyed in the attack.
“I have this TV repair shop, and they destroyed TVs belonging to my customers,” he said. “The situation is calmer today, but my customers’ TVs have been destroyed.”
Son of a Portuguese man who died when he was a child, José Sobrinho said that he opened the TV repair business in the Thokoza township in 2016, but emigrated to South Africa in 2007.
“I have four children. My wife is unwell because of a fall, and I am getting together money to send to her because she is hospitalised [in Mozambique],” he said, now looking to remake his life.
The xenophobic violence against Mozambican immigrants in Thokoza, Sobrinho said, broke out last week on Tuesday and only dissipated on Sunday after the intervention of the South African army and the Minister of Police, Bheki Cele.